Financial aid made easier
The University of St. Francis approach
We are trying to make everything easier for students.
The SAT and ACT college entrance exams, interrupted by COVID-19, are now optional at the University of St. Francis. If you’ve taken them, great! If you are not able to, no worries.
And, you can apply to USF online at stfrancis.edu/apply and there is no application fee.
And, USF will remain one of the most affordable private universities in the Midwest keeping the cost at the exact same level it was in 2020.
And, you might also qualify for financial aid, free money for school, if you take a few simple steps.
Financial aid can help you pay for school – filling out the FAFSA is the way you get started.
To qualify for free financial aid for your college degree you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The 2021–22 FAFSA form is available October 1st.
You should fill it out as soon as possible after October 1st at the official (and free) government site, studentaid.gov.
Here’s what you’ll need to fill it out.
1. Your FSA Account
If you haven’t created an account, 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 studentaid.gov.
Create your account early—even before you’re ready to complete the FAFSA—to avoid delays in the process.
Your parents SHOULD NOT create an FSA account for you or vice versa. You can and should do this, and write down your login information somewhere you cannot lose it.
2. Your Social Security Number
You can find the number on your Social Security card. Write it down (and memorize it—it comes up a lot).
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. You and your parents need this information for the FAFSA form.
3. Your Driver’s License Number
If you don’t have a driver’s license, don’t worry about this step.
4. Your 2019 Tax Records
On the 2021–22 FAFSA form, you (and your parents if you are a dependent student) will report your 2019 income information.
- Since you’ll almost certainly already have filed your 2019 taxes by the time the FAFSA form is open, you may be eligible to import your tax information into the FAFSA form right away using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).
- Not everyone is eligible to use the IRS DRT; and the IRS DRT does not input all the financial information required on the FAFSA form. This means you really should have your 2019 tax return and 2019 IRS W-2 available for reference.
The IRS DRT is the fastest, most accurate way to input your tax return information into the FAFSA form. To address security and privacy concerns related to the IRS DRT, the tax return information you transfer from the IRS will not display on
- You cannot use your 2020 tax information. We understand that for some families, 2019 doesn’t accurately reflect your current financial situation. If you and your family experienced a reduction in income since the 2019 tax year, go ahead and complete the FAFSA form with 2019 information, and then contact USF’s Financial Aid office (phone: 815-740-3403) to explain and document the change in income. USF has the ability to assess your situation and adjust your FAFSA data if necessary.
- You cannot update your 2021-22 FAFSA form with your 2020 tax information. The 2021-22 FAFSA form requires only 2019 tax information.
5. Records of Your Untaxed Income
The FAFSA questions about untaxed income, such as child support, interest income, and veterans’ non-education benefits, may or may not apply to you. On the 2021-22 FAFSA form, you’ll report 2019 tax information when asked these questions.
6. Records of Your Assets (Money)
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 2019 tax year amounts.
Note: 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.
7. List of the School(s) You Are Interested in Attending
- You can start by listing USF, but you don’t have to stop with us. Even if there is only a slight chance you’ll apply to a college, list the school on your FAFSA form. You can always remove a school later if you decide not to apply, but if you wait to add a school, you could miss out on financial aid.
- The University of St. Francis ID number is: 001664
- Schools you list on your FAFSA will automatically receive your FAFSA results electronically. They will use your FAFSA information to determine the types and amounts of financial aid you may receive.
It may seem like a lot, but once you get your ID and get your info together, you are halfway to the finish line. We can help you at any stage, and we will work with you when you are a student at USF every step of the way.