How to Apply

Apply Number 1 Complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The FAFSA is required to obtain state and federal grants and federal student loans.  If you apply online and sign your FAFSA electronically, we will receive the results in 5 to 6 business days.

Apply Number 2 Complete Student Data Form (PS Students Only)
The Student Data Form collects information we need to properly distribute your financial aid over the course of an academic year.  An updated degree plan will assist you in completing this form.  (Degree plans may be obtained from your admission counselor or success coach.)

Apply Number 3 Submit Verification Worksheet (if selected)
Occasionally, students completing the FAFSA are selected for a process called verification.  When this happens, the Office of Financial Aid is required to check your FAFSA for accuracy.  You will know if you are selected when you receive the results of your FAFSA or if you see a verification worksheet listed in the financial aid page of your Self Service Account.

Apply Number 4 Packaging and Award Letter
Once your financial aid file contains all the necessary paperwork, the Office of Financial Aid can create your financial aid package.  When it is complete, you will receive an award letter via email.

Apply Number 5 Accepting the Award
When you receive your award letter, you must email, mail or fax a response to let us know which parts of the offer you would like to accept.  All processing of your financial aid stops until we receive this response from you.

Apply Number 6 Setting Up Loans
If this is your first year at Southwestern College, this step includes completing a Master Promissory Note and entrance counseling for each loan that you accept.  For all students, the Office of Financial Aid then confirms with your lender the amounts you have accepted and the dates of disbursement.  Once the loans have been confirmed, the lender schedules the money for delivery on the appropriate date.

Apply Number 7 Pass Disbursement Eligibility Test
When money arrives, you must pass three very important tests:  1) You must be officially accepted to the college with all official transcripts present in the registrar's office.  2) You must be progressing toward a degree in a manner that is timely and successful (known as satisfactory academic progress).  3) You must be currently attending classes.

Apply Number 8

Money Is Released To Your Account
After confirming that you have passed the three tests, the Office of Financial Aid approves the release of the money by sending an electronic notification to the Student Account Office.  Once a week, the approved money is uploaded into your account.  You can watch this transaction happening online by logging into Self Service.

Apply Number 9 Checks Written for Credit Balances
If the application of your financial aid creates a credit (or negative) balance on your student account, a check for the credit will be written and released to you within 14 days of its appearance on Self Service.  You can sign up to receive your refund check electronically through the Paying Your Account option on Self Service.

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