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. In order to apply for financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Complete the FAFSA Every Year
Montco encourages all students to file their FAFSA annually. This can be done starting October 1 for the year prior to the academic year for which you are enrolling. We recommend that you complete your application by May 1 (the PHEAA state grant deadline) in order to maximize aid opportunities; however, you can still file the FAFSA after May 1.
The estimated time to complete the FAFSA is about 30 minutes.
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. If your parent does not have a social security number, they will not be able to create an FSA ID; your FAFSA will be submitted without a parent signature and you will need to print and mail a signed signature page.
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 2019-20 FAFSA will require information from 2017). 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 or via the mobile app, myStudentAid. Make sure you select the correct academic year. For example, the 2020-21 FAFSA refers to fall 2020, spring 2021 and summer 2021. Read the questions carefully and use the help buttons if needed.
- Enter Montco's school code: 004452
- Want to file faster? Most tax filers can use the Data Retrieval Tool to import federal tax data directly from the IRS to the FAFSA form. Using the DRT eliminates data transfer errors and if your FAFSA is selected to be verified (checked for potential errors), you will usually not be required to submit a copy or IRS transcript of your taxes.
- Transfer your FAFSA information to the PHEAA State Grant Application. If you’re a Pennsylvania resident, you will be given the option to transfer your information to the PHEAA 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 PHEAA 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 Student Aid Report, which is sent to most applicants via email (some will be sent via U.S. Mail). Double check the information on this report is accurate and that it includes Montco’s school code 004452 on the form. 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 call the Office of Financial Aid at 215-641-6566.
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 Information 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. Hours of operation
- Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST
- Saturday & Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST
- Looking for personalized assistance at Montco? Make a virtual appointment with a member of the Financial Aid team.
Get one-on-one virtual assistance from our Financial Aid Office.