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Applying for Financial Aid

Priority Consideration Date

The priority consideration date for applying for financial aid at Hope College every year is March 1 for freshmen, upperclassmen and transfer students.

It is best to use your finalized federal tax return figures; however, it is more important to meet the priority consideration date. If your tax return is not completed prior to March 1, designate "Will File" on the appropriate field of the FAFSA.

  • IRS Data Retrieval- The FAFSA allows most applicants to pull certain income information from your tax returns if already filed with the IRS. Using this retrieval option is efficient and eliminates the need for schools to verify income information when required. If you haven't filed your tax return when you complete the FAFSA initially, you should make a FAFSA correction to bring in the income data once it is available. Opting for the IRS income tax data retrieval is highly recommended.

Financial Aid Applications

To be considered for all need-based aid resources, complete BOTH the Supplemental Application for Financial Aid (SAF) and the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students file each year that they want to receive financial aid, including student loans.

The Supplemental Application for Financial Aid (SAF): complete it online and then print it and mail/fax it to the Hope College Office of Financial Aid.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The information you submit on the FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for federal, state, and institutional funds. List Hope College Federal School Code of 002273 in the school code section as one of the colleges to receive your FAFSA results.

How to File the FAFSA
Go to www.fafsa.gov to access FAFSA ON THE WEB. Click on Start Here and then complete the Log-in section.

When filing the FAFSA electronically, both you and a parent providing information on the FAFSA should have FSA ID's. The FSA ID serves as your electronic signatures on the FAFSA. See Your FSA ID below.

Information on completing a paper FAFSA


An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED websites. Your FSA ID is used to sign legally binding documents electronically. It has the same legal status as a written signature. Don't give your FSA ID to anyone—not even to someone helping you fill out the FAFSA.

If you are a parent of a dependent student, you will need your own FSA ID if you want to sign your child's FAFSA electronically. If you have more than one child attending college, you can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications. Please note: Each FSA ID user must have a unique e-mail address.

The FSA ID replaces the Federal Student Aid PIN. If you already have a PIN, you can link your information to your new FSA ID by entering your PIN while registering for your FSA ID. (This will save you time when registering for your FSA ID.) However, a PIN is not required to create an FSA ID.

To apply for a FSA ID, go to http://fsaid.ed.gov. You, and your parent if you're a dependent student, can apply for an FSA ID at any time. If you don't have one by the time you fill out your FAFSA, you will be prompted to apply for one. However, if you think the Social Security Administration (SSA) might have the wrong name or date of birth for you in its records, go to www.ssa.gov now to find out how to correct any errors. Your information must be correct with the SSA before your FAFSA or FSA ID can be processed.

Your Student Aid Report (SAR)

The SAR is an acknowledgement from the federal Central Processing System (CPS) that alerts you that your FAFSA has been processed. It contains a summary of the information you submitted on your FAFSA and messages to the FAFSA filer. It is important that you read the SAR and review the data you provided.

If you provide a valid email address on your FAFSA, the CPS sends an email with a link to view your eSAR on the Web.

If you do not provide a valid email address, you will receive a paper SAR three to four weeks after you file your FAFSA.

If any of the information on the SAR is incorrect, submit your corrections online at www.fafsa.gov or follow the instructions at the top of Part 2 of your paper SAR. The Hope College Office of Financial Aid receives your corrections electronically. If all of the information on the SAR is correct, just keep it for your records.

Verification Process

The US Department of Education requires schools to verify certain data applicants reported on the FAFSA. Your SAR will indicate if your FAFSA has been selected for federal verification. Additionally, the Office of Financial Aid might request that you submit information in cases where it appears you may have made errors on the FAFSA.

Hope's Office of Financial Aid will send you a request for the documentation you need to submit to complete your financial aid file. You also can view the request and link to required documents on your KnowHope Plus account.

The deadline for completing verification at Hope College is either October 31st or 45 days from the date of the receipt of the student's application (or subsequent selected FAFSA record), whichever is later.

If the information you submit requires corrections to your FAFSA, the Hope College Office of Financial Aid will submit those changes to the processor for updating. You will then receive a new SAR.

Even though you may receive a financial aid award notification before verification is completed, you still must submit the required information before the funds will credit your student account.

Sometimes the processor selects the subsequent corrected FAFSA for federal verification when the first FAFSA submission was not. If financial aid already has credited your account, you still must supply the required information for future disbursements to be made. Failure to provide the verification information by the deadline requires cancellation of your need based aid.

State Aid Programs

You may be eligible for financial assistance from your state of residence. Contact your state educational agency for more information.

Award Notification Process

For students meeting the priority filing date of March 1, the Hope College Office of Financial Aid sends financial aid award notification letters to prospective Hope students during the months of March and April. Returning Hope students receive their letters during the months of May and June. Filing after March 1 and/or delaying submission of requested information can result in later notifications.

The Federal Student Aid Portal on the web provides extensive information about college planning and funding. Students can tailor the portal to their interests, streamlining access to their saved data.