“Financial aid has taken a lot of stress off of me. Knowing that my college is paid for — and then some — has really helped. I’m going to college, well equipped with everything I need.”
After you apply for admission, the next step is applying for financial aid and — if you’re a Louisiana resident — for TOPS scholarships.
To qualify for financial aid and TOPS each year, you will need to fill out the FAFSA each year. You’re only eligible for federal financial aid if you are a U.S. citizen (or eligible non-citizen) and are enrolled (or are planning to enroll) in a degree program.
How to Apply for Financial Aid & TOPS
To apply for financial aid and TOPS, you fill out the online FAFSA (which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
When you submit a FAFSA, you are applying for Pell Grants, SEOG Grants, GO Grants, Direct Stafford Student Loans, PLUS Loans, Federal Work-Study, and TOPS. Learn more about types of aid.
Dates & Deadlines
October 1: FAFSA becomes available for the next academic year
We recommend completing your FAFSA as early as October 1 to ensure you’re considered for the maximum possible award.
March 1: Recommended deadline to complete your FAFSA
Complete your FAFSA by March 1 to ensure that your financial aid awards aren’t delayed.
You can still submit your FAFSA after the recommended deadline, but it could cause delays and hardships. Because of that, we encourage you to complete the process before May 1.
May 1: Any FAFSA applications submitted after May 1 will be processed in the order received.
If you file your FAFSA after the deadline, you should be prepared to make personal arrangements to pay for all university charges in case your disbursement is not ready in time for registration.
Other Application Processes
Apply for an FSA ID
To file your FAFSA electronically, you'll need to apply for a FSA ID.
Your FSA ID can be used to:
- Access the FAFSA/Renewal FAFSA and the IRS Data Retrieval Tool online
- Electronically sign your FAFSA or obtain a copy of your FAFSA information
- Make online corrections to your FAFSA
- Review your online loan and grant history on the National Student Loan Data System
At least one of your parents will also need a FSA ID if they listed you considered a dependent for financial aid purposes.
Unless you can truthfully answer 'yes' to one of the dependency questions on the FAFSA, you'll need to provide your parents’ information.
If your parents are separated or divorced, use the parent with whom you lived the most with in the past 12 months. If you lived with neither parent or lived with each parent an equal number of days, use the parent that provided the most financial support to you during the past 12 months. If that parent has remarried, you must include your stepparent's financial information on the application. Your parent and stepparent should report themselves as married on the FAFSA.
Next step:Files & Documents