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Student Financial Aid Deadlines

Each year over 74,000 students apply for student financial aid at Penn State. In order to be considered for student aid, you must submit the appropriate application(s) each year. All students are asked to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to receive consideration for student financial aid.

Penn State recommends that you and your family complete the FAFSA on the Web by March 1 if you are a new student to Penn State OR April 15 if you are a returning student.  FAFSA on the Web is available at www.fafsa.gov  and Penn State’s Federal School Code is: 003329.

Filing your Federal Tax Returns with the IRS before completing the FAFSA on the Web may enable you to use an IRS Retrieval Tool as described below:

Choosing to use the IRS Retrieval Tool provides a secure way to view and transfer tax information directly from the IRS into the FAFSA, saving time and improving accuracy. If you and your family are not able to complete your tax returns in time to meet the recommended dates, you should use estimated tax information. If you use estimated tax information you will have to go back and update your FAFSA once you have actually filed your tax returns.  You will still have the option to use this tool to make these corrections to the submitted FAFSA once your tax returns are filed.  

The IRS Retrieval tool is available 1-2 weeks after filing tax returns if the return was filed electronically and 6-8 weeks if filed by U.S. mail. The tool becomes available in early February.

If you or your parents are married filing separately OR if there has been a change in you or your parents marital status after filing your taxes, you should NOT use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

In order to complete the FAFSA on the Web, you will need a federal personal identification number (PIN). If you do not have a PIN, you and your parent (if applicable) can each apply for one at www.pin.ed.gov. Your and your parent's (if you are a dependent student) PINs serve as electronic signatures when completing the FAFSA on the Web and ensure its prompt processing.

By completing the FAFSA on the Web and answering "yes" to the work-study question, you will be considered for all federal, state, and institutional aid programs that Penn State has to offer.

Federal Pell Grant and Federal Stafford Loans are available to eligible students throughout the academic year during which you enroll. To ensure consideration for all available funds, follow these recommendations:

First-year, new transfer, re-enrolled, and graduate students should complete the FAFSA on the Web as soon after January 1 as possible but not later than March 1 for maximum consideration of all student financial aid programs at Penn State. Penn State student financial aid award notification begins in late-March for new students and continues throughout the year.

All returning, transfer, and graduate students who completed the FAFSA in 2013-14 will be mailed a PIN reminder in January with an additional reminder to access the Renewal FAFSA on the Web. If you completed your 2013-14 FAFSA on the Web, use your PIN to access your renewal application. There is sufficient time to complete federal tax returns before submitting the Renewal FAFSA on the Web. Your FAFSA will then reflect correct, accurate information to calculate your family contribution and will not require verification of your income later. All returning students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA on the Web no later than April 15.

If you estimated your income in the past and the estimated status shows on the Renewal FAFSA on the Web, you must indicate that you are providing actual tax information.

Students who complete the FAFSA are automatically considered for all University-wide scholarship opportunities; no additional application is needed. However, students should check with their academic college for college-based scholarships as some colleges may require a separate scholarship application.

Penn State lists several online scholarship search services, which are accessible on the Office of Student Aid website, studentaid.psu.edu.

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