Applying for Financial Aid

We want to make this process easy, so if you have any questions, feel free to contact us today.

1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The FAFSA is necessary only if you are interested in obtaining state or federal grants and/or student loans. During the FAFSA process, you will apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) so that you can sign your FAFSA online. If you apply online, the FAFSA will take approximately 5 to 6 business days to process. Southwestern College School Code = 001940.

2. 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 must check the FAFSA information for accuracy. You will know that you have been selected when you receive the results of your FAFSA or when the Office of Financial Aid begins requesting a verification worksheet.

3. Packaging & Award Letter

Once your financial aid file contains all the necessary paperwork, the Office of Financial Aid can put together your financial aid package. When the packaging process is complete, you will receive an award letter in your email inbox or in your mailbox if you do not have email.

4. Accepting the Award

When you receive your award letter, you must email, mail, or fax a response to let us know which parts of your award you would like to accept. All processing of your financial aid stops until we receive your response to your award letter.

5. Setting Up Loans

If this is your first year at Southwestern, this step includes completing a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Interview for each loan that you accept. For all students, Southwestern then confirms with your lender the amounts you have accepted and the date that the money needs to be made available. Once the loans have been confirmed, the lender schedules the money for delivery on the appropriate date.

6. Release Money

When the money arrives, you must pass three important tests.

1) You must be officially accepted to the college with all final transcripts present in the registrar’s office.
2) You must be progressing satisfactorily towards a degree.
3) You must be currently attending classes.

7. Money Hits Your Account

The Financial Aid Office approves the release of money and sends an electronic notification to the Business Office. Once a week, the Business Office uploads the approved money into your student account. You can watch this transaction happening online by logging on to your student Self Service Account.

8. Checks Written for Credit Balances

If the application of your financial aid to your account creates a credit (or negative) balance, a check for the credit will be written and released to your mailbox by the Business Office within 14 days of its appearance.

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