Where do I begin?

The first step to obtaining financial aid is simple, but critical.

One of the most critical steps in the financial aid process is filling out and submitting the federal government's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All need-based aid (e.g., grants and low-interest student loans) are awarded based on FAFSA information.

Steps to Apply for Federal Student Aid

Step 1:
Obtain a PIN (personal identification number). A PIN lets you apply, "sign" your FAFSA, make corrections to your application information, and more - all online.

  • For dependent students, the student and a parent both need PINs.
  • Go to www.pin.ed.gov to obtain your PIN.

Step 2:
Collect documents needed to apply, including income tax returns, W-2 forms, and other records of income. A full list of what you need is available at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

  • You can submit your initial FAFSA using estimated tax information.
  • After filing your taxes, you should submit a corrected FAFSA.

Step 3:
Apply online between January 1 and February 20 at www.fafsa.ed.gov. You may still file the FAFSA after this time period, but some grants have limited funds. Cedarville encourages students to use the online process; however, if you need to file a paper FAFSA, please visit the FAFSA Filing Options page.

Step 4:
Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) - the result of your FAFSA application. 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.

Step 5:
If you are selected for verification, Cedarville's financial aid office will ask you to submit tax returns, W-2 forms, and a verification worksheet.

  • Go to www.cedarville.edu/verification for more information and to print the verification worksheet.
  • Be sure to complete and submit all forms as soon as possible.