Applying for Financial Aid
The Financial Aid application process is a lengthy, and at times, complicated procedure, but you can do this by following a five-step process.
Step 1 – Get a Personal Identification Number (PIN)
Apply for a Federal PIN at www.pin.ed.gov (if you don’t already have one). You will need this PIN to electronically sign your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are dependent, your parents will also need to get a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov to electronically sign the FAFSA. This will ensure the quickest, most accurate filing process. In addition, your PIN will allow you to:
- View the status and results of a processed FAFSA application on the FAFSA website.
- Make corrections to your FAFSA online.
- Access your Federal Student Financial Assistance information on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website.
- Request a duplicate copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR).
Write your PIN number down in a safe place as you will need this pin number for many years as you pursue your education.
Step 2 – File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
To be considered for any type of financial aid (grants or loans), all students must file the FAFSA. There are two ways to complete the application:
- Paper Application: The FAFSA is available at your local high school, community college or local university. There is no fee to apply for financial aid using the FAFSA.
- Online Application: The online FAFSA can be completed on the Department of Education website at www.fafsa.ed.gov. There is no fee to apply online.
The Reynolds Office of Financial Aid recommends that applicants file the FAFSA online as it is the fastest, most efficient, and most accurate application method. Your results will be sent to you and Reynolds about a week after completing your application if it is electronically signed with your PIN.
Remember to include Reynolds’s school code on the FAFSA; if you do not include our school code, we will not receive your application. J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College’s school code is 003759.
Students who meet priority deadlines set by the Reynolds Office of Financial will have the best chance for consideration for all the financial aid you may be eligible for. Make sure to apply for your financial aid before these priority deadlines:
Fall/Spring semester April 15
Spring semester September 15
Summer semester March 15
Please note that you must apply once every school year (usually after you file your yearly income tax forms). You must also be accepted into a degree program by Admissions and be in good academic standing to receive financial aid.
Step 3 – The Student Aid Report (SAR)
After your FAFSA is processed, you will be sent a Student Aid Report (SAR). Electronic filers who provide an email address will be sent an email providing an electronic link to their SAR. Electronic filers who do not provide an e-mail address and those who complete a paper FAFSA will be sent a paper SAR in the mail.
Once you receive your SAR, you should review it for accuracy. If you need to make corrections to your SAR, follow the directions on the SAR and return it to the federal processor. Students who receive their SAR electronically can make their corrections online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Be sure to make a copy of the SAR for your records. Once the corrections are processed, you will be sent a revised SAR.
A request for any additional documents will be mailed to you after Reynolds receives the electronic record of your application. Processing of your award may take three to four weeks after we have received your accurate application record and all other documentation. Please check your Reynolds email or My JSRCC account regularly to see if we are requesting any additional information.
To get an early start on the financial aid process, visit FAFSA4caster at www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov. The FAFSA4caster website provides information about the financial aid process and can help you become familiar with the various types of federal student aid that are available.
Step 4 – Additional Information
After your FAFSA is processed, Reynolds will be sent the information electronically. For electronic filers, the data is usually received in 1 to 2 weeks. For those who completed a paper FAFSA, the data is usually received in about 4-6 weeks.
Once your FAFSA data is received, you may be required to submit additional information to the Reynolds Office of Financial Aid. Additional information is often required for one or more of the following reasons:
- Database Mismatch – Your FAFSA data is matched against various federal databases (Social Security, Selective Service, Dept. of Veteran Affairs, etc.) to make sure you meet the basic eligibility requirements for federal financial aid. If it cannot be determined that you meet the basic eligibility requirements, you may be asked to submit any of the following:
1. Copy of your Social Security Card.
2. Copy of your birth certificate.
3. Proof of U.S. citizenship.
4. Selective Service registration confirmation.
5. Copy of your alien registration card.
6. Proof of being a veteran of the armed forces.
- Verification – One third of all federal aid applicants are randomly selected for a process called “verification.” If you are selected for this process, you will be required to submit the following to the Reynolds Office of Financial Aid:
- Verification Worksheet
- Copy of your IRS tax transcript
- Copy of your parent’s IRS tax transcript (Dependent students only)
Please be aware that all errors, mismatches, and verification issues must be resolved before your financial aid can be finalized and applied to your student account.
Step 5 – Award Notification & Additional Applications
After your FAFSA is processed and all required information has been reviewed, you will receive notification of your federal and state financial aid awards. Any grants that you are eligible for will be credited towards your tuition charges. However, not every student will qualify for a Pell grant or be eligible for a state grant large enough to meet your educational costs.