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Applying for Financial Aid Applying for Financial Aid Applying for Financial Aid

Applying for Financial Aid

A Southwestern College financial aid application consists of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid FAFSA and any verification or eligibility documents required to satisfy federal regulations. Paperwork requirements vary by individual. You can find a list of the documents tailored to your individual situation by visiting your Self Service account and clicking on the “Finances” tab.

Below are the steps required to complete your financial aid file and receive your disbursement.

1. Complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The FAFSA is required to obtain state and federal grants and federal student loans. If you apply online and sign your FAFSA electronically, we will receive the results in 5 to 6 business days. Southwestern College School Code = 001940.

2. Submit Verification Paperwork (if selected).  

Occasionally, students completing the FAFSA are selected for a process called verification. When this happens, the Office of Financial Aid is required to check your FAFSA for accuracy. You will know if you are selected when you receive the results of your FAFSA or if you see verification paperwork listed in the financial aid page of your Self Service Account.

3. Packaging and Award Letter.

Once your financial aid file contains all the necessary paperwork, the Office of Financial Aid can create your financial aid package. When it is complete, you will receive an award letter via email and take the next steps toward disbursement into your account.

Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or need assistance.

Quick Links

Financial Awareness Counseling (Department of Education Counseling full of interactive tools that are linked to the National Student Loan Database System so you can incorporate your actual student loan debt into your financial planning. NSLP Financial Literacy Online (Web site operated by the National Student Loan Program. Contains online courses on budgeting, contracts, credit, identity theft and more.) 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy (Web site operated by The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Contains a special section just for issues related to college students.) MyMoney.Gov  is a U.S. Government Web site dedicated to teaching Americans the basics of financial education. It contains many links to helpful websites, calculators and worksheets.)

Great Ways to Save on Education
The United States government has taken steps to make paying for school easier. Be sure to consult your tax advisor to determine whether you may take advantage of any of these incentives.

American Opportunity Credit
Claim up to a $2,500 credit on college and other post-secondary expenses, even if you don’t owe any taxes. Learn more on the IRS YouTube page.

HOPE Tax Credit
Qualifying taxpayers can claim a tax credit of up to $1,500 for each qualifying family member who is attending an eligible school. You can claim 100% of the first $1,000 of your “out-of-pocket” educational expenses for each student, plus 50% of the next $1,000. The student must be enrolled at least half time and in the first or second year of a degree of certificate granting program.

Lifetime Learning Tax Credit
Qualifying taxpayers can claim a maximum credit of up to $2,000 (20% of the first $10,000). This credit is calculated per family, not per student. You can claim this credit at any time during a student’s education at an eligible school. The student needs to be enrolled in at least one course.

Coverdell Education Savings Account
This program allows you to save money for future educational expenses. A Coverdell Account can be established for anyone under 18 years of age. Contributions are not tax deductible, but the funds grow untaxed.

529 Plans
These state-sponsored investment programs permit taxpayers to make contributions on behalf of a beneficiary. The account earnings are untaxed until withdrawn for the beneficiary’s qualified college education expenses. Listed below are links to more information about the 529 plans for just a few of our neighboring states. 

For a comprehensive list of plans as well as more information about Saving for College, check out — a website founded in the spring of 2000 by a curious, mild-mannered public accountant with a mission of helping families figure out ways of paying for college.

Not sure where to start?

Our admissions counselors are here to help Admissions Counselors