Breaking Down Financial Aid
The first thing that comes to mind when applying for college is likely the financial aid process, and for good reason. We know that money can either be a roadblock or a pathway to your future, and Georgia State’s Student Financial Services office is here to ensure your goals are financially attainable. If the financial aid process feels overwhelming to you, you’re not alone. This video goes over some financial aid basics, but we’ve also broken down some big stuff below.
You knew it was coming, and you knew we had to use an exclamation point. Filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is arguably the most important part of your financial aid journey. If you’re hoping to get certain scholarships (like HOPE), grants (like Zell Miller or Pell) or work-study opportunities, FAFSA is the gateway. By spending just 45 minutes to submit a FAFSA, you’re opening yourself up to a world of financial aid possibilities. The application can be completed in eight steps:
- Create a FSA ID (check out this video too!)
- Add at least one school to your School Selection section (Georgia State’s code is 001574)
- Fill out the application for the correct year
- Complete the Student Demographic section using personal info that appears on official government documents
- Determine your dependency status
- Fill out the Parent Demographics section. Regardless of your parent relationship, this section must be filled out if you are deemed a “dependent.” There may be some special exceptions to this step.
- Enter your financial information. If your taxes are complete, you can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to make this even easier.
- Sign and submit! When you’re all done, here’s what to do next.
There are a few common FAFSA mistakes to be mindful of, but the biggest one is not submitting FAFSA at all. Even if you think you won’t qualify for aid, taking time to submit the application could really pay off.
Scholarships are an exciting, well-earned way to get funding for college. In-state students will be considered for the HOPE and Zell Miller after submitting a FAFSA. You can search all of Georgia State’s scholarship opportunities, but we also have some funding you don’t need to apply for. Our merit-based scholarships are automatically awarded to students who meet our academic criteria. The sooner you apply to Georgia State, the more likely you are to earn one of these scholarships, so don’t delay! Our Scholarship Resource Center is a great place to learn more about scholarship opportunities.
Grants and Loans
Grants (monetary gifts you don’t have to repay) and loans (money you have to repay) are also available to Georgia State students. All of our grants start with FAFSA, so submit yours first if you’re interested in the Federal Pell Grant or any others! There are lots of different federal and private loan options for college as well.
Federal Work-Study and On-Campus Jobs
Students with demonstrated financial need may qualify for federal work-study. This is determined by FAFSA as well. These jobs may be community service-based or have to do with your area of study. If you do not qualify for work-study, the Panther Work program may be an option for you. Learn more about student employment at Georgia State!
Our Financial Aid Office
The Student Financial Services office at Georgia State is here to serve you. Our team works year-round to ensure that financial aid is attainable for every qualified student, and we want the process to make sense for you. Check out our current tuition and fees and start by calculating your costs to get an idea of how much aid you’ll need each year. Then, you can use our interactive guided path to get the process started.
Panther Answer is a great place to find financial aid answers and submit questions, but you can also call the office at 404-413-2600. Financial aid-specific virtual visits and appointments are available periodically so keep an eye on your email for invitations and more info! We look forward to working together to help make joining the Panther Family a reality for you.