I am not applying for need-based aid for 2017-18.

Non-need-based awards, such as merit scholarships and tuition remission, are renewed automatically provided renewal criteria is maintained. No additional forms are required. Note, if you previously received need-based aid, please notify the Office of Financial Aid that you no longer intend to apply.

I am an International Student.

All financial aid for International Students is renewed automatically. No additional forms are required.

I am applying for need-based aid for 2017-18.

Due to significant changes, we ask that you carefully review the information below. 

When should I apply? Should I submit 2016 tax information?
What forms are required? What if I have unusual circumstances?
Is my file complete? What is required for federal verification?
Early application, early award?          What's Next?   

October 1: Application process opens

March 31: Deadline to submit required documents

Required Forms

Note: the CSS PROFILE is only required if 2017-18 is the first year you are applying for need-based aid, i.e. you have not completed it in a previous year for Grinnell.

Grinnell’s 2017-18 Online Financial Aid Application

Make sure you are in the 2017-18 award year, and click on the Aid Application tab.

2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Two significant changes:

  1. You can apply as early as October 1, 2016.
  2. Use "prior-prior year" income. This means you will use 2015 income to complete the 2017-18 FAFSA.
    • When prompted, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for tax-related questions. It is the fastest and easiest method for completing the income questions. Do not make changes to data downloaded from the IRS. 
    • For those not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, tax return line numbers are listed in the FAFSA instructions. Use caution as errors may cause your FAFSA to be selected for Federal Verification, requiring additional documentation.
    • Report asset amounts as of the date you file the FAFSA.
    • The household size and number in college questions refer to the 2017-18 school year.

Is my file complete?

Regularly review the status of required documents as the status may change and new documents may be added. Log into the Online Financial Aid Office  and click on the Required Documents tab. On the top of the screen, check to be sure you are in the 2017-18 award year.

If I apply early, will I receive my award early?

Although a fair assumption, unfortunately the Office of Financial Aid will likely not be able to process awards until early spring. Information needed for awarding, such as the 2017-18 comprehensive fee, Off-Campus Study expenses, and funding availability for Designated & Endowed Scholarships, are typically not available until spring semester or even as late as spring break. Our goal is to provide awards earlier than in previous years, which was mid-June for returning students. We encourage you to take advantage of the early availability of the FAFSA so you may receive one of the earliest awards once all of the information is available.

Should I submit 2016 federal tax returns and W-2 forms?

Do not submit parent 2016 federal tax return information, unless estimated 2016 income was used for your current year (2016-17) financial aid. If this applies to you, necessary documents will be listed on the Required Documents tab of the Online Financial Aid Office and should be submitted directly to the Office of Financial Aid.

Unusual Circumstances

If unusual circumstances are affecting your family's resources (e.g. decrease in parent income, one-time source of income, unusually high out-of-pocket medical expenses), you may submit a signed copy of the 2016 parent federal tax return, including schedules and W-2 forms, when available. Submit the information directly to the Office of Financial Aid.  You should provide an explanation of the circumstances.

Upon review, additional information or documentation may be requested.

Federal Verification

When you receive the email that your FAFSA has been processed, log into fafsa.ed.gov and review your Student Aid Report. If it indicates your FAFSA was selected for Federal Verification, visit the Online Financial Aid Office to see what additional documentation is required and the Federal Verification webpage for detailed instructions.

What’s next?

You will receive an email notification as soon as your award has been posted to the Online Financial Aid Office.  Returning student awards are generally available no later than mid-June if all documents were submitted by the March 31 deadline, although you may receive it much earlier.  Students submitting documents after the deadline may have their grant assistance reduced.


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