How to apply for FAFSA as an ASU Online student

May 05, 2021 · 7 min read · By ASU Online

Wondering how to apply for FAFSA and get financial aid for your degree and classes? Delve into our tips and step-by-step instructions in completing and using the FAFSA.


What is FAFSA?

FAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA application is a must-do for any qualifying student looking for financial aid. It’s your gateway to getting the financial assistance you need to complete your Arizona State University degree online. The FAFSA can qualify you for student loans, scholarships and grants.


When is the FAFSA deadline?

Filling out the FAFSA opens every Oct. 1. We highly recommend filling out the FAFSA as soon as possible for prompt processing. Students should always have their current FAFSA on file prior to starting classes.


How does FAFSA work?

The FAFSA is a single application the Department of Education uses to determine the educational financial need of students and, potentially, their guardians. The FAFSA will help you and ASU understand what loans, federal or state grants, and scholarships you’re eligible for.

The FAFSA form applies to a single academic year. For ASU Online students, this means you must fill out the FAFSA form every academic year you attend; or one FAFSA applicable for classes you attend during the fall, spring and summer sessions, including A and B sessions. If you’re planning to attend an additional year, plan to also update your FAFSA application.

Need some guidance when filling out the FAFSA? Follow along with the webinar below or the steps below. Also check out the common mistakes to avoid when filling out the FAFSA page to make sure your FAFSA is filed correctly the first time.


Step-by-step guide to filling out the FAFSA

In this 40-minute webinar recording, ASU admission representatives offer a step-by-step demonstration of the FAFSA application process. They review sections for both the student and the parent(s) and answer commonly asked questions.


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    How to apply for the FAFSA

    What is the first step in applying for financial aid?


    Where do I start or edit a FAFSA application?


    What school code should I use for ASU?

    • Use school code 001081.


    How does the FAFSA align to which terms/sessions it can be used for?

    • The FAFSA year starts in Fall A and ends in Summer B.
    • The FAFSA for a given year can be used for all six sessions it covers.


    Will financial aid cover B sessions?

    • If a student is attending both A and B sessions, the financial aid for both sessions will be disbursed at the start of A session. If a student’s schedule then changes for either session A or B, their entire financial aid award will adjust.
    • If a student is only enrolled in session B, any eligible financial aid will disburse at the start of B session.
    • Enrollment in only session A or only session B may affect the amounts of financial aid awarded regardless of credit load. Learn more about cost of attendance award adjustment.


    Can I still get financial aid if I’m only scheduled for a one-credit practicum for a term?

    • Students enrolled in only one credit are not eligible for loans. Students enrolled in one credit could still be eligible for a prorated disbursement of grants and, potentially, scholarships. They may also be eligible for corporate partner benefits.
    • Students must be enrolled in a minimum number of credits per semester to qualify for loans. The minimum is six credits for undergraduate students and five credits for graduate students.


    When is the last date you can get my high school transcripts? What happens if my old school doesn't send them in time?

    • You should get your transcript submitted as quickly as possible. If not submitted and the balance is not paid, the student will accrue late fees and will be held from registration for future classes.


    What to do after submitting your FAFSA

    Where can I see information about my FAFSA?

    • Once ASU receives a FAFSA, all information available will be viewable on your My ASU Finance tab.


    Once I’ve completed my application, how long does it take to show on My ASU?

    • ASU generally receives a FAFSA five to seven business days after the student completes and submits.


    How long does it take for FAFSA to process?

    • Once the FAFSA and all requested documents are received, financial aid packages are available in about five business days and are then viewable on the My ASU finances tab.


    Common reasons why there is a delay in processing your financial aid:

    • Make sure there are no additional documents the student needs to complete by viewing the My ASU Finances tab for Financing Tasks.

    Everything you need to know about ASU Online classes and degree programs

    We’ve compiled what you need to know about online classes and degree programs at Arizona State University. Read on to learn all about what to expect from the ASU Online learning experience.

    How to verify your FAFSA

    Verification tasks are broken down by type so students can mark their progress on items that have been submitted.

    • Good practice is to always navigate to the Finance tab to see if there are any outstanding Finance Tasks that may be separate from Priority Tasks.
    • Pay close attention to the aid year in the task.


    What do task labels mean?

    • Red Check Mark & Label of Received = Document has been received, and we’re awaiting review. No action needed.
    • No Check Mark & Label of Returned = Submitted doc has been reviewed and determined to be unacceptable. Items need to be submitted again.
    • No Check Mark & No Label = Document needs to be submitted.


    How do I contact FAFSA?

    • If you have questions about financial aid and filling out the FAFSA, contact the ASU Financial Aid ASU Online student support 855-278-5080.
    • If you need to contact the federal office which manages the FAFSA, you may contact the Federal Student Aid help desk. Their general phone number is 1-800-433-3243 and email is


    Common issues to check on a rejection before calling the FSA help desk:

    • Did the student and/or parent sign the FAFSA?
    • Did the student use the correct name and social security number?
    • Was income information entered correctly?


    I was selected for verification. Can I start class and will I owe money?

    • It’s important to submit all documents as soon as possible.
    • Students are not prevented from starting class if they owe a balance but will be charged late fees if the balance is not paid by the 25th of the month after the start date of class.
    • Students will be held from registering for any future classes if the balance remains unpaid:


    How do financial aid disbursement and refunds work?


    When will I get my refund?

    • After your funds are disbursed, refunds are processed on Tuesday and Thursday. Students can expect three business days from the date of refund for direct deposit refunds, or seven business days for mailed refunds from the date the funds are posted to the student account and viewable on My ASU.
      • Look at when funds disbursed, find the next Tuesday or Thursday (whichever is closest) and then count based on the student’s refund process.
      • The type of refund the student is getting – direct deposit or paper check is viewable from the student’s My ASU. If a student has signed up for direct deposit the field will read Active. If not Active, the student should expect the check mailed to the address on the student’s My ASU profile.
    • If a student hasn’t enrolled in direct deposit, this same field on My ASU will prompt them to do so.
    • Students must register for direct deposit at least two weeks prior to funds disbursing in order to ensure direct deposit goes through.


    Do I have to pay back FAFSA?

    • FAFSA itself is not a loan. Instead, FAFSA is the form that helps several different financial aid organizations understand what kind of loans or grants or scholarships you’re eligible for. Each scholarship, grant or loan has its own structure, which determines whether you must pay back the financial aid you received for college.


    Can the annual eligibility be disbursed into three semesters instead of only two?

    • No. If a student would like to talk through how to plan for summer financial aid availability that is a great reason to transfer to FA.


    Why does the school charge a financial aid fee?

    • Student Financial Aid Trust grants are assistance provided in partnership between ASU students and the state legislature. All students are assessed this fee to create a Financial Aid Trust Fund, from which Financial Aid Trust Grants are awarded. Fees collected from students are matched by the State of Arizona. Priority for these limited awards is given to eligible undergraduate students who file their FAFSA by the priority filing date of January 15 and who are Arizona residents or underrepresented students with high financial need.


    Does financial aid pay for books, computers, cameras, and/or any other tools?

    • If the financial aid a student accepts is greater than the charges shown in their My ASU Account Charges box then a refund will be generated.
    • Once tuition is posted, and if financial aid is complete, students can view estimated refunds on their My ASU Account Charges box.


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