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Tips to help with applying for financial aid

Fill out FAFSA early

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible. Because some gift aid funds are limited, applications submitted by March 1 have the best possibility of getting grant and scholarship money that does not need to be repaid.

Apply on the web

FAFSA on the web has built-in software support that helps prevent errors. Applicants can check the status of a FAFSA by selecting the "Check my submitted FAFSA" tab, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Apply for a PIN

FAFSAs can be submitted and updated on the web with electronic signatures, or PINs (personal identification numbers). Students and parents can apply for PINs in advance. It's also possible to apply online but print out, sign, and mail the signature pages.

Watch for your SAR

Applicants should receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the U.S. Department of Education soon after submitting a FAFSA. Check it for accuracy and keep it for your records.

Do your taxes early

Parents are encouraged to complete their tax forms as early as possible so FAFSAs can be completed with actual figures from a tax return. Otherwise use estimated tax information to avoid delaying the application process—even though this increases the chance an application will be selected by the University to confirm application data accuracy, which requires further documentation, such as copies of tax returns and W-2 forms.

Other hints

  • Use the student's name and Social Security numbers exactly as they appear on their Social Security card.
  • Students must indicate they want work-study as part of their financial aid to be considered for state and federal work-study.
  • Give the Federal School Code 003969 to ensure FAFSA results will be sent to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities by the federal processor.
  • After June 1, the University will email instructions to the student on how to access a Financial Aid Award Notice (e-FAAN) that lists the kind and amount of aid available.

FAFSA help

FAFSA on the web help line: 800-801-0576; for hearing-impaired only, 800-730-8913 (TTY).

Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (CST)
Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

FAFSA on the web: Select the "Customer Service" tab and click "Customer Service Live" at the bottom of the page.

University of Minnesota financial aid information.

Check your financial aid status

Your student can track their progress by logging in through the Financial Aid Status page on the One Stop website. Contact One Stop if you have any financial aid questions.