-- How to Apply for Aid --
Step 1: Submit a FAFSA

Your first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), using either of these two options:

  1. Obtain the printed version from your local high school, public library and University locations, including all schools and colleges.
  2. Complete the FAFSA on the Web (an online version) from your own computer by accessing www.fafsa.ed.gov or at one of the self-serve computers available in the iLAB Computer Center. Be sure to check for accuracy before you submit your form to the Central Processor.

    If you are filing on the web for the first time, you must provide all of the information required on the printed FAFSA form. After you complete the on-line form and check it for accuracy, be sure to PRINT your signature page before submitting your information to the Central Processor. You must also mail your signature page to the Central Processor. The address is listed on the page.


Observe these priority deadlines to improve your chances of receiving a greater amount of gift assistance.

New students:
If you will be a new student beginning in fall semester, you are strongly encouraged to have your FAFSA in the mail to the central processor by the priority deadline of February 15th.

Continuing students:
If you are a returning student, the priority deadline for submitting your FAFSA is February 15th.

Apply early, but not before January 1, 2010
You do not need to be admitted to the University before you submit your FAFSA application. However, your Financial Aid eligibility will not be assessed until you have been accepted by the University into an eligible program. If you apply for Financial Aid by the priority deadline, you may qualify for a greater amount of gift assistance. If you would like to be considered for student employment, you should indicate it on the FAFSA. Priority for student employment funds will be given to applicants who are new students seeking student employment for the first time or returning students continuing in prior student employment positions.

Meet the Deadlines!
When you complete the printed FAFSA, do not send or bring your application to Howard University. Mail your FAFSA in the preaddressed envelope. Before you seal the envelope, make sure that you (and your parent, if you are a dependent student) have signed the application and that you make a copy of the application for your records. The central processor must receive your application no earlier than January 1st when you are applying for the academic year (fall and spring). The results of your application will be sent to Howard University.

Apply for housing now!
Do not delay your application for on-campus housing because you have not heard from the Financial Aid Office. Only freshman students who apply by April 1st are guaranteed on-campus housing. All other students are advised to submit a housing application as early as possible. Contact the Office of Residence Life (see directory) to obtain an application.

Your FAFSA Information is Analyzed

Approximately four weeks from the date you transmit your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) that compiles the information you reported on your FAFSA. If you do not receive your SAR, call the federal processor. You will be assigned a personal identification number (PIN) that you can use to view your FAFSA information online. You should immediately review all information on your SAR for accuracy. Do not make any changes without talking to a Financial Aid Representative. Do not submit the SAR to the Office of Financial Aid; keep it for your records.

What is a PIN?

The PIN serves as your identification code to access your personal information in various Department of Education (ED) Systems. It is like the personal identification number that you get from your bank that enables you to access your account. Your PIN serves as an electronic signature. Once you successfully complete your request, ED will mail your PIN to you. It will take approximately 7-10 days to receive your pin in the mail. When you use your PIN, you must type it exactly as it appears on the letter you receive in the mail.

You can use your PIN at the following Department of Education websites:

  • FAFSA on the web
  • The National Student Loan Data System Website
  • Direct Loan Origination Website
  • The Direct Loan Servicing Website
  • The Direct Loan Consolidation Website

You will find more on the PINs at www.pin.ed.gov.

Application Information is Sent to the University Within Six Weeks

A financial aid record is created for you when your application is transferred electronically to our office. Your file will be reviewed for accuracy and completeness, including:

  • admission to an eligible degree or a certificate program
  • birth date
  • social security number
  • loan history
  • academic transcripts
  • financial aid history from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
  • Selective Service registration
  • INS (Immigration & Naturalization Service) documentation

Requests for Additional Information.

If additional information is required, we will send you a letter specifying what documentation is needed. Your application will be on hold, and financial aid will not be awarded until all of the requested information is received in our office.

Selection for the Federal Verification Process

Your application may be selected at random for review as part of the Federal verification process. The University is required by the Federal Government to screen a sampling of applications to ensure that aid delivery is completed accurately, expediently, and with integrity. You may be required to provide additional documentation, such as Federal tax returns and W-2 forms. Use income records for the calendar year before the academic year for which you are applying for aid. For example, use 2009 Federal Tax returns and W-2 forms to complete the 2010-2011 FAFSA. If you are selected for verification, you will not be awarded financial aid until all of the requested documentation is received and reviewed. The Office of Financial Aid, Scholarships and Student Employment must receive your documents by the last date of eligible enrollment or the date that corresponds with your last term of enrollment, whichever comes first.

Notification of Award Changes
If any changes to your financial aid package occur because of the verification process, the Office of Financial Aid, Scholarships and Student Employment will send you a revised Financial Aid Award Notice, which will detail the new award amounts. This revision supersedes all previous award notifications for this award year.

Apply Every Year

You must file a new FAFSA every year. After the first year of filing, whether with a printed form or by using FAFSA on the Web (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov), you may be able to file a renewal FAFSA for each additional year. Renewal application information will be mailed to the address you originally listed on your 2009-2010 or 2010-2011FAFSA. You cannot change the original address on the renewal application, and federal mail will not be forwarded. Therefore, if your address has changed you must submit a new FAFSA. The Central Processor mails renewal applications during the months of December and January.

Take Time to Complete an Error-Free Application

Read the FAFSA instructions carefully to assure that you understand what information is requested. Each item must be completed. An incomplete form will delay processing of your financial aid. Report information that is accurate at the time that you complete the application. Report your name and your social security number on the FAFSA exactly as they appear on your social security card. If you are a health professions student, regardless of age or dependency status, you must provide parental information and signatures in order to be considered for all available funds.

Provide the Correct Federal School Code Number

You must correctly identify Howard University on the FAFSA as an institution that you plan to attend in order to ensure that the results are sent to us. Use the following federal code, 001448, for all Howard University schools and colleges, including professional schools and allied health professions.

Apply Separately for Most Scholarships

In addition to completing the FAFSA, most scholarship programs require a separate application, letters of recommendation, and possibly, an interview. All continuing undergraduate, graduate, and professional students should contact the Dean’s office of your school or college for information on scholarship eligibility requirements and application procedures.

Communicate in a Thorough and Timely Manner

  • Respond immediately to all correspondence from the University.
  • Check your email for messages regarding your student account or aid status.
  • Always include your social security number and student identification number on all correspondence and telephone messages.
  • Contact a Financial Aid Officer to answer questions or provide additional information.
  • Keep the University informed of your current name and address at all times!
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