The financial aid application process for the 2021-22 academic year began Oct. 1, 2020. Most students are eligible for financial aid at Virginia Commonwealth University, regardless of financial circumstances.
Since financial aid is a limited resource and distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, we encourage students to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid as soon as possible.
Keep reading for our step-by-step checklist on how to apply for aid and then review and receive awards.
Get in touch with a financial counselor:
The Virtual Student Services Center also can help you find answers to a number of questions about tuition and fees, bills and payments, financial aid and more. It features a live chat option and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Below are detailed instructions you can refer to as you complete the financial aid process. If you are new to VCU, apply for financial aid after submitting you application for a degree or certificate program. An admission decision is not needed before applying for financial aid.
Create a Federal Student Aid ID at fsaid.ed.gov/npas. A FSA ID gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and can serve as your legal signature. A parent of dependent students will need to apply for their own FSA ID.
Complete a 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid at fafsa.ed.gov. Use this form to apply for federal and state student grants, work-study, and loans. The 2021-2022 FAFSA application covers the academic period from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
There are many eligibility requirements for state, institutional and/or federal aid to be awarded. These requirements from the U.S. Department of Education may be found on your Student Aid Report located at fafsa.ed.gov.
If your FAFSA was selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education and you have accepted your offer of admissions at VCU, then you may need to complete the verification process with Financial Aid Services/School Servicing Center.
Review financial aid awards at eServices. Review the eligibility requirements for the awarded aid. Initial financial aid awards are based on full-time enrollment for both the fall and spring semesters. Awards are subject to change if your eligibility and/or enrollment changes. Full-time enrollment is defined as 12 or more credit hours per semester for undergraduate students.
Report outside scholarships by completing the 2019-20 Scholarship Form. If you are receiving scholarships or other tuition benefits from organizations, community groups or other agencies, it is necessary for you to complete the VCU Scholarship Form. These additional funding sources can affect the financial aid offered to you by VCU.
Complete both the Title IV Authorization questions and the Electronic Consent at eServices. Federal financial aid guidelines require that VCU obtains your Voluntary Consent to Participate in Electronic Transactions and collects your decision regarding how you want your federal financial aid funds applied to your student account charges.
Title IV Authorization questions on eServices:
Electronic Consent on eServices:
Accept or decline loans and federal work-study aid on eServices:
To apply for a Federal Work-Study job, visit vcu.joinhandshake.com.
Complete Federal Loan Entrance Counseling. All first-time loan borrowers must complete an entrance counseling session to borrow from the Direct Loan Program.
Complete a Federal Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note) If you accept a Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan, you are required to complete an electronic Loan Agreement (MPN) online.
The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment (ASLA) needs to be completed each year you accept a new federal student loan. By completing, you are acknowledging that you understand your responsibility to repay your loan.
Complete a Federal PLUS Loan Application online if necessary. If you are a dependent student needing additional funds, your parent may apply for a 2021-2022 Federal Direct PLUS Loan online. The maximum PLUS loan amount your parent can borrow is the annual cost of attendance minus any estimated financial aid.
Submit a Direct Deposit bank authorization to VCU’s Department of Student Accounting.
Complete a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Release of Information form. Once a student is enrolled, the university must have a FERPA Student Consent Form for the VCU Office of Financial Aid to discuss your financial aid records.
Students who receive financial aid during the regular school year and anticipate enrolling for a summer session should plan their budget ahead of time. To be considered for summer aid, students must have completed the FAFSA for the 2020-21 academic year.