• Financial Aid 101

    Click HERE to view the Georgia Student Finance Commission powerpoint on Financial Aid.

    Step 1: Student and Parent Apply for a Pin

    • Student and parent each need his/her own PIN, which can be obtained by registering at www.pin.ed.gov

    • This is like the PIN you get from your bank that enables you to access an ATM. Because your PIN serves as your electronic signature, you should not give it to anyone. Please do not lose your PIN.

    • This PIN is the same one you will have for all the years you apply for financial aid. It can be used for numerous things on Department of Education web sites, but for our purposes, the main reason you will want a PIN is to speed up the processing of your FAFSA.

    Step 2: Complete FAFSA Form

    • Use FAFSA on the Web Worksheet (available online) to help gather financial information before entering data online at www.fafsa.gov

    • If you have completed your IRS tax form and filed electronically, you will be able to use FAFSA on the Web to electronically view your IRS tax information and securely transfer it back into the FAFSA form. Use of this data retrieval is strictly voluntary, but highly recommended.

    • Be sure to check your college’s deadlines for scholarships and financial aid.

    • Three to five days after you submit your FAFSA electronically, you should receive a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR) electronically if you provided an accurate email address. The SAR summarizes the information you submitted on the FAFSA and provides your EFC (estimated Family Contribution). If you did not provide an accurate email address, your SAR will be mailed to you within seven to ten days.

    • If you do not receive the SAR with a reasonable amount of time, call the federal processor at 1-800-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

    • Review the SAR carefully for errors. If necessary, make any corrections to it by clicking Make FAFSA Corrections. You must enter your pin to correct your FAFSA. Once your correction is submitted electronically it will be processed within three to five days and you will receive a new SAR.

    Step 3: Special Circumstances

    • Your financial situation may not be accurately reflected in your FAFSA information if your parent(s) lost a job or incurred unexpected medical bills or other emergency expenses. If so, contact the Financial Aid Administrator at your college to see if an appeal is appropriate. If the appeal is approved, you may have elements of your FAFSA changed, which may result in a different EFC, making you eligible for more aid.

    Step 4: Search for Scholarships and Other Programs

    • An updated scholarship list is available on the SEHS website under the counselor’s link. This list represents a small portion of available scholarships. Use the various websites included on our list to search for other opportunities or conduct your own Internet search. Also use the scholarship website at the college you plan to attend.

    • If necessary, you can apply for federal educational loans through your college. Both student and parent loans are available. Before accepting any loans, however, carefully consider and calculate an appropriate amount of debt to assume, and be careful not to exceed your limits.

Last Modified on November 15, 2018