Applying for Financial Assistance
Because the costs of higher education must often be offset by some form of financial assistance, we encourage you to apply for financial aid.
Completing and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov gives you access to the largest source of financial aid – grants, loans, and student employment. The application processing cycle lasts 21 months. For the 2020 -21 award year, applications are accepted beginning October 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020. For the 2021-22 award year, applications are accepted beginning October 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.
Many students erroneously think they will not qualify for Federal Student Aid and don’t complete a FAFSA. If you are one of those students, check out this list of myths and the truth behind the many misconceptions about the application process.
We know aid can be confusing so we’ve tried to make it easier by outlining the steps you will take while including videos and infographics to help you understand the process. First, check out this video for an overview of the FAFSA process.
What You Need
You should be collecting the following information before completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):
- FSA ID (a parent will also need an FSA ID if the student is dependent). Instructions on how to create an FSA ID are below.
- Social Security Number
- Parent’s Social Security Number (if the student is dependent)
- Driver’s license number
- Alien Registration Number (if the student is not a U.S. citizen)
- Marshall University’s Federal School Code: 003815
- Federal tax information or tax returns, including W-2 information, for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents, if you are a dependent student*
- Records of untaxed income*
Not sure whether you’ll need to provide parental information on the FAFSA? Watch this video to help you determine whether you are a dependent or independent student.
Confused about which parents’ information you should use on the FAFSA? Use this infographic to help make that determination.
Create an FSA ID
The FSA ID is a username and password used to log in to certain U.S. Department to Education web sites. Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents, such as a Master Promissory Note for Federal Direct Loans. The FSA ID is replacing the PIN for anyone who has an existing PIN.
You must create an FSA ID when you first log in to the following sites: www.fafsa.gov, www.nslds.ed.gov, www.StudentLoans.gov, www.StudentAid.gov, and www.teach-ats.ed.gov. You only need to create an FSA ID once.
You will need an FSA ID to:
- Complete and electronically sign the FAFSA
- Electronically sign a Master Promissory Note for a Federal Direct Loan
- Complete entrance and exit loan counseling for a Federal Direct Loan
- View your Federal financial aid history and Federal Direct Loan account detail
For dependent students, at least one parent will need an FSA ID. The parent’s FSA ID is used to:
- Electronically sign the FAFSA
- Apply for a Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Loan
- Electronically sign a Master Promissory Note for a Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Loan
Steps to create an FSA ID
- When logging in to one of the above FSA sites, click the link to create an FSA ID.
- Create a unique username and password, and enter your e-mail address.
- Enter your personal information.
- Provide your name, date of birth, and Social Security Number.
- Include your mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number, and language preference.
- Provide answers to 5 challenge questions.
- If you have a PIN, you will be able to enter it and link it to your FSA ID. You can still create an FSA ID if you have forgotten or do not have a PIN.
- Submit your FSA ID information.
- Read and accept the terms and conditions.
- Confirm your e-mail address using a secure code, which will be sent to the e-mail address you entered when creating your FSA ID.
Only the owner of the FSA ID should create and use the account. NEVER share your FSA ID or password. The FSA ID contains personal identification information you should never share.
File the FAFSA
To apply for financial aid, you (student) must file the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov. Only the student should complete the FAFSA with the assistance of a parent if parental information is required.
Filing the FAFSA gives you access to federal grants, loans, and work-study. When you file the FAFSA, you will also be considered for state and institutional financial aid. State aid programs may require the completion of additional forms or applications. WV residents refer to the WV State Level Application tab for instructions on applying for WV state aid. Some scholarship applications may require you include your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which will show on your FAFSA Confirmation Page.
You must include Federal School Code 003815 if you want Marshall University to receive your FAFSA.
Find out how to complete the FAFSA with this video:
For assistance completing the FAFSA, you may call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or look for the Help Tip box on the right side of the page while completing FAFSA on the Web.
Marshall’s priority filing date for the FAFSA is March 1. You may file the FAFSA after this date.
The FAFSA becomes available at fafsa.gov on October 1 and closes June 30 two years later. Example: The 2020-21 FAFSA opens October 1, 2019, and closes June 30, 2021.
The FAFSA requires income information for the specified tax year. Be mindful that other household information may not be based on the tax year but dates specified on the FAFSA.
Remember, if you wait until the last minute to apply, some financial aid programs may not be available to you because they are first-come, first-serve. Also, your financial aid awards may not be finalized by the billing due date.
IRS Data Retrieval
We urge students (and parents) to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing or making corrections to the FAFSA. The IRS does have to process the tax return before IRS Data is available for transfer.
Because the FAFSA uses earlier tax information than in previous years, parents and students should have already filed the needed Federal tax information with the IRS. This means you (and parents) should be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when initially completing the FAFSA.
My FAFSA is submitted, now what?
What happens after the FAFSA has been completed? Watch this video to find out.
WV State Level Application
WV State Level Application
WV residents should visit www.cfwv.com to apply for West Virginia’s merit-based PROMISE Scholarship and other scholarship programs administered by the WV Higher Education Policy Commission.
Students applying for the WV PROMISE Scholarship and the WV Higher Education Grant Program must also file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov.
FAFSA Deadlines for WV State Aid
- March 1 for WV PROMISE Scholarship
- April 15 for WV Higher Education Grant
WV PROMISE Scholarship
Students must also complete a state-level financial aid application at www.cfwv.com by March 1. In addition, high school graduating seniors must take the ACT or SAT by the scheduled dates in June and ear the necessary scores. The criteria for this scholarship are listed at www.cfwv.com.
For help completing the WV PROMISE Scholarship application or questions about it or the WV Higher Education Grant, you should call the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Office of Financial Aid and Outreach Programs at 1-888-825-5707 or 1-304-558-4614.
Applying for Scholarships
Applying For Scholarships
Searching and applying for scholarships is another way to help pay for college. Scholarships can be found from a variety of sources such as local businesses, organizations, churches, etc. but do require some research.
Marshall University Merit-Based Scholarships
These require no application. All first-time freshmen admitted to the university are considered for these scholarships based on test scores and GPA.
Explore our Merit-Based Scholarships to find out what you may qualify for.
Marshall University Foundation Scholarships
Many donors have given to Marshall University for privately funded scholarships, which have been made available for Colleges and Departments, to select students.
Searching for Scholarships
Scholarships do require research. Remember to think outside the box. Not all scholarships are academically based. Are you left-handed? Search for scholarships based on being left-handed. Are you a first-generation student? Do you participate in bowling leagues? Do you like asparagus or any other vegetable? There may be scholarships based on things you are interested in or participate in or are unique to you. You do have to seek out these scholarships so go search!
Start your search by checking out these sites:
As a courtesy to students, we’ve posted a list of Outside Scholarship Organizations, who have contacted this office to assist with soliciting applications. Marshall University has no affiliation with these organizations with regard to the development of the scholarship program or selection of the recipients.
You should never be required to pay a search fee for scholarships. Any site asking for payment is probably a scam. Learn how to protect yourself at www.studentaid.gov/types/scams.
Summer Financial Aid
Financial aid may be available to you to attend the 2020 summer terms. Summer session dates are as follows:
Intersession: May 11 – June 5
Summer I: May 18 – August 7
Summer II: June 8 – July 10
Summer III: July 14 – August 14
Summer Schedule of Courses is available at www.marshall.edu/milo/milocou.asp; advanced registration (currently enrolled students) begins Monday, March 16; and, open registration (all admitted and re-admitted students) begins Monday, March 23.
The Office of Student Financial Assistance will process Summer Financial Aid Requests on a first-come-first-serve basis. The review of Summer Aid Requests will commence on Tuesday, March 17. Due to the high volume of summer aid requests and the complexity of determining student aid eligibility for summer enrollment, processing time typically takes a minimum of 10 business days.