Paying for College » How to Apply

Step 1

Complete the online application. Students must be accepted into a degree or certificate program in order to be eligible for financial aid.

Step 2

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The FAFSA is an application that collects students' financial and other information used to determine their eligibility for aid. It is used for federal student aid programs and by many schools and scholarships to award funds. The FAFSA can be completed on the web at or by submitting a paper application, which can be picked up at your community college financial aid office or by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID.


  1. Request a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for you (and your parent if required to provide parent information) online at Your PIN will serve as an electronic signature on your application.
  2. Use the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet that allows you to read and complete the questions before entering your information online. Enter the information at Select “Fill Out a FAFSA,” if this is your first time applying, or “Fill Out a Renewal,” if you’ve submitted a FAFSA the previous year.
  3. [Note: Applications need to be filed every year.]

or Paper Application

  1. Read the instructions carefully.
  2. Use a BLACK ink pen and fill in ovals completely.
  3. Complete ALL sections of the application as instructed.
  4. Send your completed application to the Federal Processor in the envelope provided.

It is highly recommended that the FAFSA be completed on the Internet because it is easier and processed faster.

Step 3

Follow Up

  1. Students are sent a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the U.S. Department of Education that contains all the information provided in the FAFSA. As soon as you receive your SAR, review it for accuracy. If the information is not correct, go to the FAFSA website at or mail the corrected SAR to the federal processor.
  2. Students will be notified on their SAR or by their community college financial aid office if they are required to submit additional documents, such as copies of Federal Tax Returns and W-2 forms. Make sure to submit all requested documents to complete your financial aid application.

Receiving Your Aid

Students who are eligible for aid may receive an award letter from their community college outlining the type and amount of aid the school will offer. Students should review their award letter and accept or decline each of the financial aid awards. If the award is accepted, funds will be directly applied to your tuition and fees at your community college. If the financial aid award is more than the cost of your tuition and fees, a refund check will be mailed to you. Students who are not eligible will receive a letter indicating the reasons for ineligibility.

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