How to Apply for Financial Aid

UIndy's Federal School Code: 001804

If you use financial aid to help cover the cost of your education, you must apply each year.  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available on January 1 of each year.  The priority deadline to have the FAFSA complete is March 10th.  If your FAFSA is not received by the Federal Processing Center by March 10th, you will not be considered for state grants.

If you are planning to apply for financial aid, use the following checklist to insure that you don't miss an important step. FAFSA filing information and the UIndy Aid Application link are mailed to all returning students in December. You may also review costs as well as available aid, eligibility, alternative options and access additional forms that will assist you in your process.

Get Ready to File the FAFSA

  • First-time FAFSA filers (both student and parent(s) of dependent students) should first register for a federal Personal Identification Number (PIN) at
  • What will you need to file your FAFSA?

    You will need your PIN, Social Security Number, prior year federal tax returns, Driver’s License, bank statements and investment account statements.  Parents of dependent students will need the same information available.  A FAFSA worksheet or a paper FAFSA may be obtained from the site; either of these tools can provide a template from which you can plan your FAFSA detail prior to actually completing your application.
  • What if you have not filed your prior year federal taxes yet?

    If you will not file your prior year federal taxes before the critical FAFSA filing deadline of March 10, you may use estimated financial information and simply indicate that you “will file” taxes within the FAFSA.  Tips for estimating:  Use W2s and other earnings’ statements as your source(s) for income.

  • What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA?

    For students and parents of dependent students, you may retrieve your federal tax information directly from the IRS as you file your FAFSA. To take advantage of this option, electronic tax filers must wait at least 2-3 weeks prior to using this option and paper tax filers must wait at least 8-11 weeks. Exceptions:  Students who are married as well as parents of dependent students who are married but file federal taxes separately from their spouse.
  • Why is it important to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

    For students and parents of dependent students, if you are able to transfer your federal tax information directly from the IRS into your FAFSA and you do not alter the fields, you minimize the need to provide copies of your federal tax return transcripts (if selected for verification).
  • Can you go back into your FAFSA and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool after you file your taxes?

    Yes. It is the recommended option. Go to, log into the student’s FAFSA record, select “Make FAFSA Corrections,” and navigate to the Financial Information section(s) of the form. From there, follow the instructions to determine if you and/or your parent(s) are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your prior year IRS income tax information into your FAFSA.

How to File the FAFSA

  • Go to the FAFSA website at and click “start here.”

  • Complete student information fields and select which FAFSA application you would like to file.  The student will also enter his/her PIN number to begin.

  • Create a student password.  This password will be used to access the FAFSA after filing or to make corrections to the already filed application. 

  • Complete non-financial sections of the FAFSA.  These sections include:  Student demographics, school selection, dependency status, and parent demographics. 

  • Complete parent (if dependent student) and student financial sections of the FAFSA.  You may refer to your FAFSA worksheet, earnings statements, bank statements, and investment account statements.  Within this section, both parent and student will be offered the option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to view and transfer prior year federal tax information. 

  • Sign the FAFSA.  The student will first enter his/her PIN number as part of the certification and signing process.  For dependent students, your parent must also enter his/her PIN number to electronically sign the FAFSA. 

Need more help?

Visit Seven Easy Steps to the FAFSA, an online tutorial of the FAFSA.

Complete Other Tasks

  • Complete the 2014-15 online UIndy Aid Application (UAPP). The UAPP will be used to prepare aid for semesters I and II.

  • Selected for verification?

    Complete all verification forms requested by the Office of Financial Aid. The most common request will include a verification worksheet and a copy of your and/or your parent(s)’ prior year federal tax return transcript.

  • Need summer aid?

    You must first register for your summer courses. Next, complete a Summer UIndy Aid Application

Critical undergraduate reminder: If the FAFSA is not received by the Federal Central Processing Center by March 10th, you will not be eligible for state grant money.