How to Apply for Aid

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Step 1 - Prepare

Gather all the documents you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The 2024-2025 FAFSA utilizes your 2022 tax information. The student and each contributor to the FAFSA form must provide consent and approval to the access, disclosure, and use of Federal Tax Information (FTI) by the IRS to the Department of Education.

We understand that for some families, the tax year that applies to the FASFSA doesn’t accurately reflect your current financial situation. If you have experienced a reduction in income contact each of the schools to which you’re applying to explain and document the change in income. Schools have the ability to assess your situation and adjust your FAFSA, if warranted.

Step 2 - Complete

Filing early is key! We strongly encourage our students to complete the FAFSA as early as possible. This will ensure that you have enough time to complete any missing financial aid documents or make any necessary financial plans for the upcoming school year. FAFSA school code: 008849.

If you haven’t already, create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) account by setting up a username and password. Each student, and—if you’re a dependent—one of your parents, will need an FSA account (also known as an FSA ID) to complete the FAFSA process on fafsa.gov. We recommend creating your account early—even before you’re ready to complete the FAFSA—to avoid delays in the process. That’s because you may need to wait up to three days to use your FSA account after creating it.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT create an FSA account on behalf of someone else. That means parents should not create FSA accounts for their children and vice versa. In addition to being against the rules to create an FSA account for someone else, doing so may result in issues signing and submitting the FAFSA and could lead to financial aid delays.

You can find the number on your Social Security card. If you don’t have access to it or you don’t know where it is, you can request a new or replacement card from the Social Security Administration. If you are not a U.S. citizen but meet Federal Student Aid’s other eligibility criteria, you’ll also need your Alien Registration number. Both parents and students need this information for the FAFSA.

If you don’t have a driver’s license, don’t worry about this step!

Be sure to add any college you’re considering, even if you haven’t applied or been accepted yet.

The schools you list on your FAFSA will electronically receive your FAFSA results within 3-5 business days. They will use your FAFSA information to determine the types and amounts of financial aid you may receive.

You can list up to 20 schools at a time on your FAFSA.

Step 3 - Review

When your FAFSA has been processed, you will receive the FASFA Submission Summary (FSS) to review. If necessary, make corrections to your FSS so that the most accurate information is reported.

The FAFSA questions about untaxed income, such as child support and interest income, may or may not apply to you. On the 2024-2025 FAFSA, you’ll report 2022 tax or calendar year information when asked these questions. View additional information.

This section includes savings and checking account balances, as well as the value of investments such as stocks, bonds, and real estate excluding your primary residence. Report the current amounts as of the date you sign the FAFSA form, rather than reporting the 2022 tax year amounts.

IMPORTANT: Misreporting the value of investments is a common FAFSA mistake. Please carefully review what is and is not considered a student investment and parent investment to make sure you don’t over- or under-report. You may be surprised by what can (and cannot) be excluded.

Step 4 - Respond

Once our office receives your FAFSA we will begin to package you with the financial aid you are eligible to receive. This process generally takes 2-3 weeks to complete and is dependent on all financial aid documents being submitted. For the 2024-2025 year, please note that the U.S. Department of Education has not yet released FAFSA information to colleges and universities. PBA expects to receive your FAFSA information in mid-March.

For new students, please contact your Admissions Counselor with any questions about the process of applying for financial aid.

Current students, please contact the Financial Aid Office with any questions.

Step 5 - Receive

Your aid will be disbursed after the Office of the Registrar completes enrollment verification each semester. Your aid will first be applied to your tuition, fees, and miscellaneous charges. Any remaining aid on your account will be credit balance, or refund. Students receive their refunds approximately one month after classes have started (this is dependent on course enrollment – please contact our office for more information).

With your NelNet Campus Commerce account you can view your account balance, see your account details, and make payments. Click above to set up your preferences!

All student account refunds will be issued via direct deposit to your bank account OR a physical check. If you do not select a payment method, the default option will be a check mailed to the legal home address on file; however, please note that physical checks take longer to process. The fastest way to receive your funds is to select Direct Deposit.

To select a refunding preference, log into your NelNet Campus Commerce account today!

Step 6 - Renew

You will need to renew your FAFSA application before the beginning of each academic year. One academic year includes Fall, Spring, and Summer.

Have additional questions?

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form is the single most important financial aid gateway. It asks you questions about the student’s (and, if you are under the age of 24, the student’s parents’) income and savings to estimate how much aid the student needs. Your FAFSA information is used to award federal grants, state grants, and numerous scholarships from colleges, foundations, and companies.

Visit studentaid.gov (or get the “My Student Aid” app) to complete the FAFSA. You will need your FSA ID and Password.

We encourage families to complete the FAFSA by March 1 annually.

After submitting your FAFSA, you will receive a FAFSA Submission Summary, which is a summary of the FAFSA data you submitted. Review your Summary for accuracy, as this information will be sent to PBA to determine your eligibility. Once our office receives your FAFSA we will begin to package you with the financial aid you are eligible to receive. This process generally takes 2-3 weeks to complete and is dependent on all financial aid documents being submitted.

Financial Aid Office

Financial Aid

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Phone: (561) 803-2126

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