How to Apply

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The Application Process is Free

The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can complete a FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov using SSU’s federal school code of 001156.

FAFSA on the Web

FAFSA on the Web is a fast and error-free way to file the application. It does not require you to download or install any software. FAFSA on the Web contains a pre-application worksheet, which you should print and complete before entering the FAFSA answers online. As you are entering answers online, there are edits and prompts to assist you in correctly completing the online application. You will need to have access to a computer with a connection to the Internet to file your application electronically at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

After all of the required information has been entered, you and your parents (if applicable), can electronically sign the application using a Personal Identification Number (PIN).

Your PIN

Your PIN can be used each year to electronically sign your FAFSA and to access your U.S. Department of Education records online. If you are determined to be a dependent student, a parent will also be required to get a PIN in order to sign the FAFSA electronically. For more information or to obtain your PIN, go to www.pin.ed.gov.

Your Parent's PIN

The parent’s PIN can be used each year to electronically sign your FAFSA if you are a dependent student and to access their U.S. Department of Education records online. Parents that have a PIN number up front before the FAFSA is filed can sign the FAFSA electronically, which will expedite the processing of your application. Also, having your parent sign the FAFSA at the time the application is filed, instead of printing a signature page and mailing it in, will reduce the possibility of your FAFSA being rejected. A rejected FAFSA application due to missing parent signature will cause a delay in getting a financial aid award offer. For more information or to obtain a parent PIN, go to www.pin.ed.gov.

Don't Share It

Your PIN not only serves as your legal signature, it provides access to your personal records, so don’t give your PIN to anyone. Be sure to remember it, because you'll use the same PIN for future electronic FAFSAs or renewal FAFSAs, and to access your federal student aid records. If for some reason you lose your PIN, you can always request a duplicate PIN at www.pin.ed.gov.

SSU’s Federal School Code

In order for the federal processor to send your application to Sonoma State University, you must include our Federal School Code on your FAFSA. SSU’s Federal School Code is: 001156.

Remember to Apply Every Year

Each year you must renew your FAFSA for the upcoming school year. Renew your FAFSA beginning January 1 of each year at www.fafsa.ed.gov. SSU’s early applicant deadline is January 31. The on-time applicant deadline is March 2.

The Renewal FAFSA on the Web

If you filed a FAFSA online the previous year, you can file a Renewal FAFSA online. This way you will have fewer questions to answer, because most of the Renewal FAFSA will be filled in with information you provided the previous year. You'll need to update any information that has changed and fill in a few new answers.

PDF Version of the FAFSA

A PDF version of the FAFSA will be available for download on various Federal Student Aid web sites. Students and parents can access the PDF, complete the form on the computer or by hand, and mail it to the address provided for processing. Make sure you (and your parents if applicable) sign the PDF version of the FAFSA. The FAFSA is not processed or considered valid without the required signatures. We strongly encourage you to complete the FAFSA on the Web instead of the PDF version of the FAFSA. If you feel you must use the PDF, call 1-800-4-FED-AID for instructions on obtaining the PDF.

The Paper FAFSA

If you don’t have Internet access, you can obtain a paper FAFSA by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). Students and parents may request up to three copies of the paper application. Mail the FAFSA in the pre-addressed envelope that’s in your FAFSA packet. Make sure you (and your parents if applicable) sign the FAFSA. The FAFSA is not processed or considered valid without the required signatures. However, we strongly encourage you to complete the FAFSA on the Web instead of the paper FAFSA.