Steps for Financial Aid

ATTENTION ALL STUDENTS: the financial process (FAFSA and VFAO interview) must be completed by August 1. Please follow instructions below:

We have a new online system to get student information and complete a financial aid package for you!

Our Virtual Financial Aid Office (VFAO) is an easy-to-use secure system, accessible to you from any online computer 24/7.

Students and parents can complete the process together. You can start the process, and if necessary, save it to come back later and complete it. Detailed instructions take you through each required step.

But…before you start the process, please note these VERY IMPORTANT instructions: 

  1. Please complete your current year’s FAFSA at . You’ll receive an Expected Family Contribution number (EFC #), found on the front of your Student Aid Report (SAR) – write that down!  You will need this number later in the process.  (If you have not completed your FAFSA first, you will be given a link to do so during the interview process. The FAFSA form must be completed.)
  2. Go to the VFAO page to begin. First read the information given, then register. Set up your own secure login and password to use every time you come back to the site.
  3. Once registered or logged on, you can go to the Student Interview Center. Before you do anything else, go to a link that says “CLICK HERE” to watch a brief instructional video. We recommend this because it explains financial aid in an easy-to-understand way.
  4. After you watch the video, you are ready to “Start a New Interview.” Click the link and begin. It is that easy!
  5. If you are returning to complete an interview you started before and did not complete, look under “Submitted Interviews” to click on the details link to continue.
  6. Once you finish, you will be required to “sign” the interview, so remember your password. This will be your signature.
  7. After you finish, you may print out your interview information, estimates of your financial aid and repayment schedules. You can also download the information in a pdf file.

Your financial aid award package will come from the information you submit during this process along with your class registration information.  If the Department of Education selects you for “verification”, you will be contacted by the VFAO staff via email to request additional information. It is important to respond to this request as soon as possible to expedite the processing of your financial aid package. Your school email is the University’s primary method of contact, so check that frequently!

If you have any questions, send them to Someone will contact you with answers.

You are now READY, so click here to BEGIN.




The following is a step-by-step guide to applying, taken from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

For students:

  1. Get free information and help from your school counselor, the financial aid office at the college or career school you plan to attend, or the U.S. Department of Education at or 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). Free help is available anytime during the application process. You should never have to pay for help.
  2. Get a personal identification number called a Federal Student Aid PIN at Your PIN lets you “sign” your online FAFSA, access and make corrections to your application information, and more—so keep it safe!
  3. Collect the documents needed to apply,including income tax returns and W-2 forms (and other records of income). Tax return not completed at the time you apply? Estimate the tax information, apply, and finalize information later. The important thing is to meet the earliest deadline. Here are some items you might need:
    • Your Social Security number and your parents’ Social Security numbers if you are providing parent information.
    • Your Alien Registration Number if you are not a U.S. citizen.
    • Federal tax information or tax returns, including W-2 information, for yourself, for your spouse if you are married, and for your parents if you are providing parent information, using income records for the year prior to the academic year for which you are applying.
    • Information on savings, investments, and business assets for yourself (and for your parents if you are providing parent information).
    • Submit the FAFSA in timeto meet school and state aid deadlines. Here are the ways you can complete the FAFSA:
    • Apply online (the fastest and easiest way) by going to
    • Download a PDF version of the FAFSA. Fill out the PDF and mail it to the address on the form.
    • Ask the financial aid staff at the college you plan to attend whether you may fill out the FAFSA with their help and have them submit it for you.
    • Call 1-800-4-FED-AID and request a paper FAFSA.
    • Review your Student Aid Report (SAR)—the result of your FAFSA. You will receive your SAR by e-mail or by mail. If necessary, make changes or corrections and submit your SAR for reprocessing. Your complete, correct SAR will contain your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)—the number used to determine your federal student aid eligibility. If you do not receive your SAR within three weeks of submitting your FAFSA, go to and select “Check Status of a Submitted FAFSA;” or you may call 1-800-4-FED-AID.
Additional Notes
  • Your school might request additional informationfrom you. Be sure to respond by any deadlines, or you might not receive federal student aid.
    • All applicants: Contact the financial aid office if you have any questions about the aid being offered.
    • First-time applicants: Review award letters from schools to compare amounts and types of aid being offered. Decide which school to attend based on a combination of (a) how well the school suits your needs and (b) its affordability after all aid is taken into account.
  • Keep in touch with the school you’ve chosen to find out when tuition and fees are due, whether your financial aid will cover those expenses completely, and how much (if any) extra financial aid will come directly to you once your tuition and fees are paid.
  • Pay special attention to letters or e-mails from schools, and contact the financial aid office if you do not understand what the school is offering you.
  • Follow all directions on the FAFSA and on any communications from your school.

For parents:

  1. Get your own Federal Student Aid PIN at Your PIN will act as your electronic signature on your child’s online FAFSA.
  2. File taxes as early as possible, but don’t delay the FAFSA due to your taxes not being done. It’s okay to estimate your financial information on the FAFSA; you just need to finalize it later.
  3. Complete the “Students” section above with your child. If possible, file the FAFSA online—it’s much faster and easier, and your information is safe because it’s encrypted (i.e., we use a mathematical formula to scramble the data).
  4. Examine the bill from the school your child chooses and make sure you understand all the fees and how they will be paid (e.g., through scholarships, student loans, etc.).
Additional Notes

Laurel University is eligible to participate in most Title IV government aid programs intended to supplement the financial resources of the student and his/her family.

All eligible students must maintain a grade point average of 2.0 or above to continue receiving financial aid.  If a student falls below the required 2.0 he/she will be placed on Financial Aid Probation as facilitated by the Financial Aid officer.  The officer will send a letter notifying the student of his/her probationary status. The student will be given the opportunity to submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Committee, which will consider all appeals. Continuing students must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress in order to maintain financial aid eligibility. See the Financial Aid Officer for details.

Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form via the FAFSA website or a paper application form. Laurel University Federal School Code is 013819.

The U.S. Department of Education uses the information on the FAFSA to create a Student Aid Report (SAR). This takes about four to six weeks to process.

We encourage you to file for financial aid immediately after you or your parents file the current year income tax returns.  For priority consideration regarding financial aid, the student’s SAR must be completed and filed no later than May 1. Please note the Financial Aid Office will accept a student’s SAR anytime before the end of the academic year.

We determine your financial aid needs by calculating the Expected Family Contribution (the amount you and your family are expected to pay toward your education).

Need-based aid can come from a variety of sources and requires an annual determination of eligibility. To apply for all aid programs the student must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form can be completed online at The Laurel University Federal School Code is 013819.

The FAFSA asks for information concerning income, assets, size of family, and number of students in college for both the student and the parent.  Once submitted a uniform formula will be applied to derive the Expected Family Contribution (EFC); which is the amount the student and family are expected to contribute annually toward the student’s education.  Financial need is determined by subtracting the EFC from the college’s Coat of Attendance.

Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need (Financial Aid Eligibility)

Laurel University participates in several programs that offer need-based aid:

If your need continues you must complete the FAFSA each year and you must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to remain eligible.  Your award may vary from year to year, depending on your updated FAFSA and governmental funding.

NOTE: Due to the ever-changing nature of financial aid, please email regarding the latest regulations and requirements for applying for financial aid.