Applying for Financial Aid
Financial aid is money students (and parents) can access to help pay for college. Federal, state, and college funding is available in the form of grants and scholarships, student loans, and sometimes, work-study job opportunities. To apply for financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
|**IMPORTANT FAFSA UPDATE**
01/30/2024 Update: The 2024-25 FAFSA is now live and available for students and their families to complete. Schools are set to receive completed FAFSA information in mid-March 2024.
Please note that no corrections can be made to the FAFSA at this time. We will notify the community when this option becomes available. There have been many changes to the FAFSA for 2024-25. Please read the application carefully and double-check your information before hitting submit.
Please be careful when answering question #6, as this question is specifically related to being homeless or at risk of homelessness and unaccompanied. The definition for these are:
Complete the FAFSA Every Year
Montco encourages all students to file their FAFSA annually. This can be done starting October 1st for the year prior to the academic year for which you are enrolling. For PA residents, we recommend that you complete your application no later than May 1st, which is the PA State Grant deadline. However, you can still file the FAFSA after May 1st.
The estimated time to complete the FAFSA is about 30 minutes to an hour.
Successfully submit your FAFSA
Step 1: Create or retrieve your FSA ID
First-time applicants must create an FSA ID which will be used to log into the FAFSA application and serve as your legal signature. It will also allow you access to all federal student aid online systems. Create your FSA ID online. Use your legal name as it appears on your social security card. If you need assistance with creating or retrieving your FSA ID, view the FSA ID Frequently Asked Questions or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 for help.
If you are a dependent student, a parent will also need an FSA ID. Parents without a Social Security Number (SSN) will be able to apply for an FSA ID for 2024-25. This will speed up FAFSA processing time, and they will be able to submit the form online rather than having to print, sign, and mail their application. Please see here for further instructions.
Step 2: Collect your appropriate documents
You will need to gather various documents to complete the FAFSA. Make sure you have your social security card and alien registration number (if you have one) available. Collect your financial information from two years prior (for example, the 2024-25 FAFSA will require information from 2022). Financial information documentation could include federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned (such as foreign income). If you are a dependent student, your parent(s) will need to gather the same documentation.
Step 3: File your FAFSA
Once you (and your parent) have your FSA ID and documentation, you are ready to file your FAFSA. You can now complete the FAFSA online. Make sure you select the correct academic year. For example, the 2024-25 FAFSA refers to fall 2024, spring 2025 and summer 2025. Read the questions carefully and use the help buttons if needed.
- Enter Montco's school code: 004452
- The way tax information is imported into the FAFSA has changed. Please see our FAFSA Simplification page for more information on how tax data will be collected on the 2024-25 FAFSA and other important changes.
- Transfer your FAFSA information to the PA State Grant application. If you’re a Pennsylvania resident, you will be given the option to transfer your information to the PA State Grant application when submitting your FAFSA. On your FAFSA confirmation page, look for the link that reads Optional Feature—Start your state application—Click here if you want to apply for Pennsylvania state-based financial aid. If you closed out of your browser too soon, log into PHEAA to complete the PA State Grant application process.
Step 4: Ensure your FAFSA has been received by Montco
About 3-5 days after the FAFSA is submitted, you will receive a confirmation and your FAFSA Submission Summary, which is sent to most applicants via email (some will be sent via U.S. Mail). Double-check the information on this summary is accurate and that it includes Montco’s school code 004452. If you need to make corrections, login to FAFSA's website to edit your application and resubmit.
- You will be able to see if Montco received your FAFSA by viewing your financial aid checklist items in Self-Service. To access your financial aid information, log into Montco Connect, go to the Finances tab, and select View My Financial Aid Checklist. If you submitted your FAFSA and don’t see this section, please email the Office of Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 5: Monitor your Financial Aid Checklist
To view the status of your FAFSA and financial aid information, log into Montco Connect, navigate to the Finances tab, and select View My Financial Aid Checklist. Ensure you complete any requests for additional information promptly, so your financial aid package is not delayed.
- The Federal Student Aid Contact Center has a customer service team ready to help you! You can email, live web chat, or call them at 1-800-433-3243 (TTY calls: 1-800-730-8913) for assistance.
- Make a FAFSA filing assistance appointment with a member of Montco's Financial Aid team.
Get one-on-one assistance from our Financial Aid team.