The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a universal form that allows the U.S. government to calculate your financial need so that CF can determine which aid programs are the best fit. Students should apply for the FAFSA every year.
College of Central Florida’s Federal school code is 001471.
FAFSA is available for the academic year beginning with the fall term in the following year. Apply now, or as soon as possible. If you have already completed your IRS Tax Return, the application will allow you to obtain the income information directly from the IRS.
To be considered for full financial aid funding, students need to submit their FAFSA and any requested documentation by the following priority “on time” dates:
Dec. 1 for students who are starting at CF in the spring semester (January).
Mar. 15 for students who are starting at CF in the summer semester (May or June).
July 15 for students who are starting at CF in the fall semester (August).
The Application Process
To obtain federal, state, and institutional financial aid (including many scholarships) you must complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov. CF’s federal school code is 001471. Start the process as early as possible when making plans for your education. If this is the first time you are completing a FAFSA, you will need to obtain a Federal Student Aid ID, or FSA ID, at studentaid.gov/fsa-id. This FSA ID will allow you to:
- access online personal information;
- review your online grant and loan history on the National Student Loan Data System (nslds.ed.gov);
- gain access to FAFSA on the Web and use the FSA ID as an electronic signature to sign the FAFSA, or obtain a copy of your FAFSA information;
- make online corrections to your FAFSA;
- sign a loan promissory note; and
- complete loan entrance counseling.
If you submitted a FAFSA last year, you may log in to fafsa.gov with your FSA ID and complete a Renewal FAFSA.
The federal processor must receive all required signatures to send results to the schools indicated on your application. After the FAFSA is processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) through the mail or the Internet. Review the SAR for accuracy; if correct, keep it for your records. If incorrect, make the necessary corrections electronically by accessing the “Make corrections to a processed FAFSA” link at fafsa.ed.gov or by mail if you received a hard copy. You must send the corrected SAR back to the processor.
CF will receive an electronic file of the information on your SAR, and will contact you if additional information is needed.
The financial aid information you and your family provide on the FAFSA is analyzed by the federal processor to determine the expected family contribution (EFC). Family contribution is the amount you and your family should be able to pay toward your cost of education. Need is the difference between the amount you and your family can contribute and the cost to attend the college of your choice. The primary responsibility for paying for your education belongs to you and your family.
“Cost of Attendance” minus “Expected Family Contribution” equals “Financial Need”
If you meet requirements for financial aid, you will receive written notification from CF. Aid offers can also be viewed on the Financial Aid tab of MyCF by selecting “My Financial Aid” and then “My Financial Aid Awards”. Your aid notification will detail the types and amounts of aid offered, specific program information, your responsibilities, and the conditions that govern the award.
After your Free Application for Federal Student Aid has been filed, verification begins. What? You’ve been selected for verification? What does this mean and what are the next steps you should take?
The U.S. Department of Education requires that some applications be reviewed for accuracy through a process called verification. If a student is selected for this process it will be specified on the Student Aid Report that is sent to the student from the federal processor. The student will also be notified by the college on the MyCF student portal and through the mail or by email.
If selected for this process the student will be required to turn in additional documentation. The student’s financial aid file will not be considered complete and ready for verifying until all missing eligibility information has been received and processed. The student will not receive an award notification until verification is completed. This process can take from one to four weeks depending upon how quickly the student submits accurate and complete information and documents. Students are strongly encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to report income information, since usage of the tool can significantly streamline the verification processing time.