FAFSA

Completing the FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) serves as the official application for institutional and federal need-based financial aid. The FAFSA is designed to determine a family’s ability to pay for higher education by calculating the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) amount. The EFC is a measure of how much the student and his or her family can be expected to contribute to the cost of the student’s education for the year. The EFC is based upon the information the family provides on the FAFSA. Factors such as income, assets, family size and the number of family members attending college full-time are considered in determining a family’s EFC.

The FAFSA uses a rigid formula with no provisions for exceptions when it calculates the EFC. If you believe that your family has “special circumstances” affecting its ability to pay for a college education that is not reflected in the information provided on the FAFSA, then you may be eligible for a “professional judgment.” See Concordia's Professional Judgment page for further information on the professional judgment process.

Steps to take

Concordia recommends completing the FAFSA online as soon as possible after Jan. 1.

However, it is best to wait until after you/your parents’ federal tax returns have been filed before completing and submitting your FAFSA. We urge you to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) provided by the FAFSA on the Web (FOTW). The earliest the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) can be used to retrieve your tax information in February 1st or 10 days after you file your taxes electronically, whichever is the later.

IF YOU DO NOT USE THE IRS DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL (DRT) WHEN YOU FILE YOUR FAFSA, YOUR FAFSA WILL HAVE AN INCREASED POSSIBILITY OF BEING SELECTED FOR VERIFICATION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.

Please follow these steps for successful filing:

  1. Request a personal identification number (PIN).
    You should request a PIN so you can sign your FAFSA electronically. Your parents (if applicable) may also request a PIN if their information is required. Go to www.pin.ed.gov to request your PIN.

  2. Collect all required documents.
    Available on the FAFSA Web site is a worksheet that lists all questions that you will be asked in the same order that they appear on the actual FAFSA. Many people find this document helpful to complete before tackling the actual FAFSA. To find the worksheet go to www.fafsa.gov and click on “Before Beginning a FAFSA” then choose “Print a FAFSA on the Web Worksheet.”

  3. File your FAFSA online.
    File your FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov. Concordia University, Nebraska’s Federal School Code is 002541.

  4. You may access your Student Aid Report (SAR) as soon as 24-48 hours after you electronically filed.
    Go to www.fafsa.gov and choose “View and Print Your Student Aid Report.” Concordia will automatically receive a copy of the report electronically.

  5. Concordia’s financial aid office will process your FAFSA information.
    New students entering the upcoming fall are processed between Jan.-April. Returning students are processed after the completion of the spring semester. We will contact you if we need any additional information to complete your file.

    • Verification is the process by which schools review student financial aid files for accuracy. Please see Concordia's Verification page for further information on the verification process.

  6. You will receive a financial aid award letter.
    The award letter will list all of the financial aid that you are eligible to receive with detailed instructions on how to accept the aid.

Still have questions?

Please review our FAFSA frequently asked questions page.

If you have further questions about the FAFSA, please contact call 800-535-5494, ext. 7270, or email finaid@cune.edu.