Undergraduate Financial Aid

How do I apply?

The application for federal financial assistance begins with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The FAFSA is designed to collect student (and parent for dependent student) information such as income, household size, and the number of people in your household who will be attending college. The information is then put into a formula which determines the level of financial need for the student and his or her family. The College of Nursing uses the result of this formula to determine which type of assistance the student is eligible to receive.

 

How do I complete the FAFSA?

The FAFSA can be found online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. You can submit your FAFSA as early as January 1, 2014. We recommend you complete your FAFSA no later than February 15, 2014 to maximize your financial aid opportunities.

Before you go online to complete your FAFSA, make sure you and your parents (if dependent) have your Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you don't have a pin number or can't locate the one you already have, go online to www.pin.ed.gov and follow the instructions. The PIN number is a way to sign your FAFSA application electronically.

When you are ready to complete your FAFSA, you will need you and your parent's tax information (if dependent) from the previous year and the school code for the College of Nursing (006240). There is also a Pre-application worksheet you can download and complete. This form has the same questions of the FAFSA in the order they should appear on the website. When you have all this information, simply go Online and complete the process. It is a quick, convenient way to apply for federal assistance. Once you complete the online process, the College of Nursing will receive an electronic copy of your application from the federal government.

 

What happens next?

Once we receive a copy of your FAFSA, we will review it and contact you with the documents we need to complete your financial aid file.  When your file is complete, we will send you a financial aid award letter packets, which will include your Stafford loan paperwork. The booklet which includes your award letter will outline the next steps in the process. Please remember that you will have needed to complete the College of Nursing admissions process before we will process your financial aid application.

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Verification

Verification

Verification is a review process in which the Student Finance Office determines the accuracy of the information reported by the student/parent on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The U.S. Department of Education selects certain applications to be verified by the College of Nursing. During the verification process the student and/or parent will be required to submit documentation to verify the FAFSA information. This process ensures the eligibility of all students receiving the federal and state assistance they are entitled to.

At the College of Nursing, all financial aid applicants are required to submit an Institutional Application for Financial Assistance. You must submit all the required documentation before you are sent a financial aid award letter. The College of Nursing will verify the information on the FAFSA for all new undergraduate students.

You can find forms on the “Forms” page of the website or contact the Student Finance Office.

Processing Delays – Depending on the time of year, the verification process can take 4-6 weeks. The process can take longer if additional documentation is required to resolve conflicting information.

IRS Data Retrieval

In addition to the Institutional Application for Financial Assistance, the next part of the verification process is to confirm the information on the Federal IRS tax return. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this task.

  1. Preferred
    A student/family may utilize the Data Retrieval Tool from within the FAFSA online (www.fafsa.ed.gov) to retrieve their IRS tax return information electronically. This will populate the necessary data from the IRS into the FAFSA application where it can be resubmitted for processing and the data will be verified. If student and/or parent both complete federal tax returns, then both tax returns would have to be retrieved using the tool.
  2. A student/family may choose to request a Federal Tax Return Transcript. This tax transcript is a computer generated report detailing (line by line) the amounts you reported on your federal return. The tax transcript is free of charge and can be requested in one of the following ways:
  3. a) Calling 1-800-908-9946 and ordering a Tax Transcript.
    b) Visiting www.IRS.gov and clicking on “Order a Transcript”.
    c) Completing IRS form 4506-T, which is a Request of Transcript of Tax Return. Click here to obtain the form. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf

    The federal government will no longer allow schools to use copies of a family’s federal tax return as a valid method of verification.

Trouble-shooting – IRS Data Retrieval Tool:

Because this is a relatively new process, some families had difficulty using the data retrieval tool for a variety of reasons. Some of these issues are below which we hope will help you if you too are experiencing difficulties.

  1. When attempting to link within the FAFSA to the IRS, a student/family must have the addresses typed exactly right and matching your tax return perfectly. The examples below show the same address typed a variety of ways and could result in the Retrieval tool not working properly. Abbreviations and punctuation are very important!
    1. 355 North Maple St
    2. 355 North Maple St.
    3. 355 North Maple Street
    4. 355 N. Maple Street
  2. Some families are able to use the Retrieval tool successfully, however, they are then failing to realize they must proceed through the signature (using pin #s) and resubmit the FAFSA. If you close the FAFSA without submitting the correction, it will not process and fulfill the requirement for verification.
  3. If a family just recently submitted their tax return, it will take up to two or three weeks to be able to link properly.
  4. If a family submitted their tax return and owed taxes to the IRS, then the tax return is not considered complete and able to be retrieved until the payment is processed.
  5. There are two similarly named forms available from the IRS; an Account Transcript and a Tax Return Transcript. The Account Transcript is sometimes being requested in error. In order to complete Verification, a Tax Return Transcript is needed.

To Obtain a Free Tax Return Transcript from the IRS

Note: Do not request a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account because they are not acceptable for verification purposes.

You can request a tax transcript one of three ways:

Online:

  • Go to www.irs.gov
  • In Online Services section click “Order a tax return or account transcript”
  • Click “Order a Transcript”
  • Enter SSN, date of birth, street address and zip code.
  • Click “Continue”
  • Select “Return Transcript” and tax year

Phone:

  • Contact the IRS at 1-800-908-9946.
  • Follow prompts
  • Select “Option 2” to request IRS tax return transcript and the enter “2013”

Mail:

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Verification Worksheet

The Verification Worksheet collects data in relation to your household size, number in college and untaxed income you and your parent/spouse might have. Student must complete and return the worksheet as designated by your letter.

Please refer to your letter/email for the documents you need to submit to our office.

For questions/concerns regarding applying for financial assistance or verification, please email the Student Finance office at confinaid@sfmc.org. You can contact us by phone at (309)624-9932 or (309)655-4119.

Please see the “Forms” link on the website to download documents needed to complete your file.

Documents for verification may be submitted by fax or mail to:

Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
Attn:  Student Finance Office
511 NE Greenleaf Street
Peoria, IL   61603
Fax:  (309) 655-3962


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Criteria for selecting and determining award recipients and amounts

  1. Pre-nursing hours must be completed and recorded in the College of Nursing Admissions Office prior to the release of federal and state assistance.
  2. Your award is based on the assumption you are an U. S. citizen or permanent resident. State residency has been determined from the information you provided to Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing.
  3. The award offer was determined in accordance with laws, regulations, and appropriations (existing or anticipated) of the U. S. Congress, Illinois Legislature, Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing, and other agencies. The award(s) are subject to adjustments or cancellations if changes occur.
  4. The award offer is based on financial information supplied by you and/or your family on the financial aid application. All award(s) are subject to adjustment or cancellation if your financial situation changes or if errors in the data are discovered.
  5. As a financial aid recipient you must assume the responsibility of remaining aware of the program eligibility requirements and the policies which govern the approval, disbursement, and use of the financial aid funds. You should be aware of the requirements which are specific to each financial aid program through which you receive funding. Contact the Student Finance office with any questions.
  6. Students who are in default on student loans, have borrowed in excess of the loan limits, or owe a refund to any Title IV program are not eligible for financial assistance.
  7. Students must meet the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements to receive state and federal financial assistance.
  8. Award amounts are based on your enrollment status. Differing enrollment hours may
    result in an adjustment to the award amount(s).
  9. Dropping courses or withdrawal from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing may critically affect your current or future financial aid eligibility. Students withdrawing from the College may be required to repay scholarships, grants or loans already received.
  10. You must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program to receive federal or state financial aid. This includes Federal Pell Grants, Illinois Student Assistance Commission Monetary awards, and the Federal Education Loan Programs.
  11. Course credits not considered eligible for State and Federal Assistance at Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing:
    a. Course credits transferred in from another institution or prerequisite courses.
    b. Course credits received from Portfolio courses.
    c. Course credits given for prior education or work experience.

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