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It's a new year-and it's time to apply for financial aid. Get started early this year so you can make the most of the aid available to you.

In Indiana, most financial aid sources use the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine the amount of money each student is eligible to receive. The steps listed below will help you complete the financial aid process.

Plan ahead! The FAFSA must be received by March 10 to be considered for Indiana state scholarships and grants. In addition, certain campus-based financial aid awards have limited funding and are awarded only to eligible students who complete the FAFSA by that date. Students and parents can complete the FAFSA online at fafsa.ed.gov. Each FAFSA covers the upcoming Fall, Spring and Summer semesters (for example, the FAFSA that is due March 10, 2015 is for the Fall 2015, Spring 2016 and Summer 2016 semesters).

Steps to getting the financial aid for which you qualify:

  1. Apply to Ivy Tech Online Now
  2. Complete your 2014 tax return
    1. Complete your taxes approximately three weeks prior to submitting your FAFSA. Mid-February is the best time to complete your taxes so you will be ready for the March 10 deadline. The IRS is accepting tax returns starting January 20 so file early!
    2. Use the IRS import option. This automatically populates your FAFSA with information from your tax return saving you time and effort. Failure to use this option may result in a delay of your financial aid.
    3. If you need assistance filing your 2014 tax return Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) maybe able to help. Click here to see if you qualify.
  3. Plan Ahead - Financial Aid (FAFSA) DEADLINE MARCH 10
    1. IMPORTANT: The FAFSA must be RECEIVED by March 10 to be considered for state aid.
    2. You will need to know some information to fill out the FAFSA. Use this list to gather the appropriate documents before you begin.
  4. Complete your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
    1. Complete online at fafsa.gov. Ivy Tech's School Code is 009917.
    2. Complete the FAFSA over the phone at (800) 4-FED-AID. Ivy Tech's School Code is 009917.
    3. Once you've completed the FAFSA, a Student Aid Report (SAR) will be generated by the U.S. Department of Education. If you have listed our school code 009917, we will receive an electronic copy.
    4. If you are selected for Verification, you will be required to complete a Verification Worksheet and other financial forms before aid can be processed or disbursed. Make sure you turn in all required forms, if you don't it will cause processing delays.
  5. Applying for a Federal Direct Student Loan
    1. All new and returning borrowers in Summer 2010 and Fall 2010 MUST complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for the Direct Student Loan Program. Starting with Summer 2010, Ivy Tech will participate exclusively in the Federal Direct Student Loan Program. Even if you have previously borrowed a federal student loan using a private lender or bank, you will need to complete a new MPN for the Direct Loan Program.
    2. Complete your MPN electronically at the Department of Education's website studentloans.gov. You will be required to use your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID – username and password. If you do not have an FSA ID, please visit StudentAid.gov/fsaid.
  6. Applying for a Federal Direct Student Loan: Complete Entrance Loan Counseling
    1. To ensure that you understand the responsibility and the obligation you assume when accepting a Federal Direct Student Loan, the Department of Education requires you to participate in loan counseling prior to receiving your first disbursement. Entrance counseling is required of all first time borrowers and borrowers new to Ivy Tech. If you have already completed entrance counseling at Ivy Tech, you will not be required to retake counseling.
    2. Complete entrance counseling online by visiting studentloans.gov and sign in using your FSA ID. Click on “Complete Entrance Counseling” and follow the steps to complete this process.
    3. NOTE: Failure to complete loan counseling will prevent timely disbursements and refunds.
  7. Applying for a Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Loan
    1. Apply online at the Department of Education's website studentloans.gov. If you are borrowing Direct PLUS Loans for more than one student, you'll need to complete a separate MPN for each one. To complete an MPN online, you will be required to use your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID – username and password. If you do not have an FSA ID, please visit StudentAid.gov/fsaid.
  8. Applying for an Alternative Loan
    1. If you need additional funds and have exhausted all other options, you may want to consider Alternative Loans. Visit your local Financial Aid office for more information and a list of lenders.
  9. Monitor Your Financial Aid Status
    1. Check the status of your FAFSA application.
    2. Check your Financial Aid status at Ivy Tech through Campus Connect.
  10. Important Things to Remember
    • To qualify for state aid, your FAFSA must be RECEIVED by March 10.
    • Remember to complete an Application for each loan program, and if you are chosen for Verification respond promptly with requested documentation. Please remember to resubmit a FAFSA for each school year.
    • Federal regulations require all student loan borrowers to participate in Exit Loan Counseling whenever you drop below half-time enrollment status, withdraw, or graduate. To complete Exit Counseling, visit nslds.ed.gov and click on the “Exit Counseling” link.

We understand the importance of estimating how much aid you may qualify to receive. There are several online services that provide calculators including FinAid.org and FastWeb.

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