Financial Aid

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Information for Parents:


All of us at USU are committed to helping your student succeed in their university experience, including giving them the best financial assistance we can.

Incoming students are automatically considered for scholarships as part of the admissions process. Continuing students apply directly to their academic departments for scholarships. The following information is of particular interest to parents.

Q. Why do I need to provide my financial information for my child to apply?

Federal financial aid is based on the premise that families hold the primary responsibility for paying for college. Federal law specifies who can be considered independent for the purposes of financial aid. If your son or daughter fits into any of the following categories, they are considered independent.

  • 24 years old
  • working on a masters or PhD program
  • an orphan or ward of the court
  • qualifying veteran of the armed forces (does not include active duty in the reserves or national guard for training)
  • married on the date they filed the FAFSA
  • dependents receive more than half their support from the student
  • currently on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training

If none of the above applies to your student, federal law requires you to supply financial information on the application - even if they no longer live with you; or you don't claim them on your taxes; or you consider them financially independent. We do not share financial information with anyone outside the financial aid office.

Q. Do I need a PIN?

You can use your PIN (Personal Identification Number) to sign your student's federal aid application (FAFSA). This greatly speeds up the processing. You can apply for a PIN online and use the same PIN for all your children.

Q. Can I call you about my student's financial aid?

Yes, but, federal privacy law requires us to protect students' information and privacy. Your student can give USU permission to discuss their aid by sharing their USU ID (A-Number) and SecurityPhrase with you. We require a SecurityPhrase to verify permission has been given so that we can answer any sensitive questions about your student's financial aid. Ask your student to create or update their SecurityPhrase.

Q. How do I apply for a Parent PLUS Loan?

  • Only parents of dependent students (according to FAFSA) can receive Parent PLUS loans.
  • You and your student must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Apply for a PLUS loan on Student Loans.gov.
    You will need to sign in with your own (parent) PIN number to apply.
  • You will also need to sign a Master Promissory Note on Student Loans.gov.
    USU will download your application and send your student a notification when the loan has been certified.