Applying for Aid

WHAT IS THE FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA)?

The FAFSA provides the information needed to estimate your family’s ability to contribute toward your educational costs. If you are applying for any of the federal student aid programs [Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work Study (FWS), Federal Perkins Loan and/or the Federal Direct Loan Programs], this is the only form that may be used to calculate your expected family contribution (EFC). As the name implies, there is NO FEE for using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
You can apply electronically for federal student aid by using FAFSA on the Web. Upon completing the FAFSA, the Central Processing System (CPS) calculates an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and matches the information reported on your FAFSA to data contained in numerous federal databases, such as the Social Security Administration. The results of the analysis are forwarded to both you and the schools you have listed on your FAFSA. Appying for admission to a school will not automatically add them to your FAFSA, you must list each school for which you want the information to be sent to.  Hawai`i Pacific University's school code is 007279.


WHEN SHOULD I APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID?

Starting for the 2017-18 academic year, you can now file the FAFSA as early as October 1st of the preceding year. This earlier process of filing the FAFSA is known as Early FAFSA. Early FAFSA means that you will be using IRS tax information from two years prior to the academic year for which you are applying (e.g. 2017-18 academic year will require the 2015 tax year data). To assure maximum consideration for all forms of aid, the FAFSA must be processed by the federal processor on or before HPU’s priority deadline of March 1st of the upcoming academic year. Normal processing time for a FAFSA application submitted electronically is three days, but could take up to two weeks.


When is my financial aid disbursed?

Financial aid is disbursed on or after the first day of the term and students should plan on having some funding arrangements for the first month of the semester, or until your financial aid funding can be made available to you. All financial aid documents must be received and reviews completed prior to any disbursements being made. Students should allow for at least 2 months processing time and be cognizant of processing deadlines which are usually 3 weeks prior to the end of any semester/term.
Applying for admission to a school based on your academic ability and applying for student aid based on your financial need are two different procedures.
Although financial aid is awarded after the Admissions Office grants acceptance, you should NOT wait to apply for financial aid until you have been admitted to the school.  You can complete the FAFSA at any time after October 1st of the year preceding the academic year you are applying for.


WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID?

Applying for aid generally includes several steps. You may be asked to do any or all of the following tasks.

The FAFSA collects financial information about you, your parents, and your family. Income received during two years prior to the accidemic year for which you are applying for, including untaxed income and benefits, will have to be reported, as will certain expenses. You may also be asked to provide the current value of any assets you or your parents own as well as the amount owed on those assets.

When applying for federal financial aid, you must provide a valid Social Security Number. If you do not have one, you should get one as soon as possible.

Completing the FAFSA may seem complicated, but don’t let that discourage you. Take one question at a time, read the instructions carefully, and consult your high school counselor or our Financial Aid Office if you need help. Be sure you understand what the form is asking. Making errors can cause delays in your application.

In response to filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will receive a document called a Student Aid Report (SAR). If you filed your FAFSA electronically, you will receive an e-mail with your Student Aid Report (SAR) or if you filed a paper FAFSA you will receive your SAR in the mail at your home address. The SAR summarizes the information you provided on the FAFSA. Please make sure to review the SAR, make changes and provide additional information as required. The Financial Aid Office must be advised of all corrections to your SAR as you make them so we can make timely corrections to your award letter(s).

You may receive a letter from our office asking for further information needed to complete your processing, i.e. a student and/or parent federal tax transcripts, verification form, etc. This review process is called verification. The federal government (DOE) selects students for the verification process based on the analysis of the inputted data.  Schools are required to request tax forms in order to verify the information you provided on the FAFSA. Respond to our request quickly so we can send your finalized financial aid awards to you in a timely fashion. If selected for verification, you are not eligible for your federal aid until verification has been completed. 

As your financial aid application is evaluated within the Financial Aid Office, more information or documents may be requested. For example, you may need to certify you are registered with the Selective Service or not required to be registered. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may be asked to document your status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, or USCIS (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service, or INS). If the aid administrator thinks you might have special financial circumstances, he or she may ask for a more detailed explanation.

You will receive an e-mailed financial aid award letter in your HPU Pipeline email account. It will instruct you to respond to your financial aid award in the financial aid section in your campus "Pipeline" portal and will advise you of any further documentation you should complete, if necessary. Your financial aid award is determined on the information you originally gave us when you applied for financial aid. If you should have a change of status or if you should receive additional scholarships, please let us know immediately as it may affect your financial aid.

HPU requires you to indicate whether you want the aid we have offered you, be sure to do so as soon as possible. Even if you do not want the aid, or have decided not to attend HPU, let the Financial Aid Office know as a courtesy to other aid applicants who are still awaiting funding

Some of the loan programs require additional application forms. All of them require a promissory note, which is a legal document you sign promising you will repay the loan. If you are offered one of these loans, and you decide to borrow the funds, you will need to complete the necessary forms.

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Guide to Federal Student Aid

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FAFSA Instructions