Federal aid is financial assistance provided by the federal government through grants, work-study, and federal loans. The amount you are eligible for in each category is determined by the information you provide on your FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Please take time to review the information and steps on this page which will help you navigate the FAFSA and federal aid. While scholarships are separate from federal aid, some scholarship applications include FAFSA submission as part of their eligibility criteria. All students eligible to submit a FAFSA are highly encouraged to do so.
Apply for Federal Aid
As long as you are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen who is admitted into a degree-seeking program at USU, you are eligible for federal financial aid. If you are not seeking a USU degree or certificate, please contact us to evaluate your eligibility for aid. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education has prepared an online eligibility checklist and a student aid estimator.
The FAFSA needs to be completed each year you wish to receive aid. The next year's FAFSA is always available a year prior on October 1st. For example, to apply for aid for Fall 2023, Spring 2024 or Summer 2024, the 2023-2024 FAFSA application opens on October 1st, 2022. Apply early! Because of complex federal requirements, it can take several weeks to process your application. (In some cases an application can be processed in one to two weeks.) We recommend applying at least two or three months before you plan to start school to avoid any delays. However, you can still submit your FAFSA during the semester you are seeking aid for.
If you borrowed Federal Direct Loans at your previous school, your loan eligibility may be limited for the current academic year. Please be aware of federal student loan limits. Federal Pell Grants also have a lifetime limitation.
Getting Married Soon?
If you are planning on getting married, you are sometimes better off waiting to file until you are actually married - but not always! Contact your Financial Aid Counselor about how you should file.
Submit Your FAFSA
Visit Federal Student Aid to submit your FAFSA. The USU school code for the FAFSA is 003677. In some cases, portions of the FAFSA may already be filled out if you applied the year before. You will need to update only financial information respective to the tax year requested and review the rest for accuracy. Paper applications are also available through Student Financial Support. Applying through the mail may be slower and more prone to errors.
Lastly, don't pay for FAFSA! Our office offers help with FAFSA preparation and submission for free. Don't let the FAFSA intimidate you. We are here to help you!
After submitting a FAFSA, follow these steps to receive your aid:
If you provide a valid email address, you’ll receive an email from email@example.com with instructions on how to access an online copy of your SAR. Please review this report for any processing problems.
If you don't provide a valid email address on your FAFSA form, you will receive either a paper SAR or a SAR Acknowledgement via postal mail.
Continuing Aggies: Please check your USU student email.
We will email you:
- If there is information on your FAFSA that needs to be verified.
- Your Federal Aid Offer.
If you have any questions or need clarification on any of these terms, please don't hesitate to contact us or meet with your Financial Aid Counselor. We are here to help!
- Assign delegates - Privacy restrictions require that you set up your parents, spouse, or someone else as a delegate if you want them to speak on your behalf or have access to your financial aid information.
- Set up Direct Deposit - This will facilitate the process of refunding money to you in the future.
- Set up your Security Phrase - When you call our office, a security phrase is required to access information about your account.
- Update your mailing address – a valid mailing address is required for important notifications.
Additional Federal Aid Resources