Frequently Asked Questions in Financial Aid

A. How do I apply for financial assistance?
The financial aid staff uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine financial need and to distribute limited funds to those who have the fewest financial resources. To increase your chances of getting the maximum aid for which you are eligible, be sure to file by our priority deadline. Fairmont State University's FAFSA priority deadline is March 1.
B. What is financial need?
The formula that defines a student's financial need is: Cost of Education - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need
You'll find that your financial need may make you eligible for some programs and not for others. For instance, you may be eligible for a scholarship but not for the Federal Pell Grant. There are financial aid programs for which you can be considered for when you have no financial need; the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan or Parent PLUS Loan. Please note that it is not always possible for Fairmont State University to cover every student's full financial need and that it is then up to the student's family either to provide personal resources or to secure additional loans to cover the difference between costs and aid awarded.
C. Is there a maximum income level that will make me ineligible for financial aid?
No. Income level does not automatically disqualify you for financial aid. Other variables are considered such as: family size, number of family members in college, age of older parent, savings, investments, and various allowances to income and assets.
D. In order to receive financial aid do I have to apply every year?
Yes. In order to receive consideration for all programs you must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. File the FAFSA in the month of January. If necessary, you may estimate your taxes to complete the form.
E. What is FSU's Title IV federal school code?
Our federal school code is: 003812.
F. Am I selected for verification?
Your myFairmontState account should always be the first thing you check. If you are selected for verification, you will be able to access the documents you will need to submit.   When verification is being requested, you will receive a letter notification directing you to the forms necessary for completing your file. All forms are available online. Make sure all documents are received by the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible in order to be considered for maximum financial aid. The federal FAFSA processor does not review verification documentation; therefore, please do not submit actual tax documents to the processor.
G.  What should I do if my family's financial circumstances change after I apply for financial aid?
If the financial circumstances in your family have changed substantially, you may have your financial aid eligibility reviewed. Such changes may involve you or members of your immediate family. They include but are not limited to: 
  • Loss of employment
  • Death or disability of a family wage earner
  • Divorce or separation
  • Substantial reduction of current year income, loss of nontaxable income, etc.
Please contact the Financial Aid Office and speak with a financial aid counselor regarding your circumstances.  Keep in mind that a review of your current circumstances does not guarantee any changes to your financial aid package. In some cases, a change in your circumstances may be processed but may not result in any additional aid.
H. What is the difference between a grant, a scholarship, and a loan?
A grant is a gift. It does not have to be repaid and it is based on the student's financial need. 
A scholarship is an achievement award which is usually based on academic grades, abilities, skills, test scores, class rank, etc. 
Loans are funds borrowed by the student and/or parent. In most cases, loans must be repaid with an interest charge and a specified repayment period.
I.  Should I pay for a Scholarship Search Service?
We do not recommend the use of these companies. Many are misleading or even fraudulent. Don't be fooled by the money back guarantee promised by many of these companies. It is virtually impossible to get your money back. The Financial Aid Information Page at provides information regarding Scholarship Scam Alerts. The services provided by these companies can be accomplished on your own by researching scholarship publications at the library, or by using a number of free scholarship searches available on the Internet such as
J.  Has my award notification been sent?
You will receive an award notification from Student Financial Aid if you are admitted to Fairmont State University and your Financial Aid file is complete.  You will not receive an award notification if any of the following pertain to you:
  • You are currently in default on previous loans
  • You are not making satisfactory academic progress
  • You have been selected for verification and have not returned all requested documentation. 
  • You have been awarded merit-based aid but have not completed a FAFSA
Incoming freshman will receive a paper award notification beginning mid-March.  Upperclass students will be notified by e-mail to check their award status on their myFairmontState account by mid-April. Be sure to check your myFairmontState email regularly for notifications from Financial Aid and other offices on campus. Follow instructions on Student Self Service for any applicable acceptance of aid and necessary paperwork. 
K. Do I need a separate form to apply for a Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan?
No. You need only file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
L.  How do my parents apply for the Parent (PLUS) Loan?
Your parents will complete an on-line application directly with the Department of Education by logging into and following the prompts for the application.  The application is not complete until your parents receive a credit acceptance or denial.
M. How can I apply for work study?
Students must file a FAFSA before March 1 and have financial need to receive Work Study. However, other jobs may still be available on campus through non need based employment.  Students can visit the Work Programs website at: for additional information.  
N.  What does it take to be considered an independent student?
When you apply for federal student aid, your answers to questions on the FAFSA determine whether you are considered a dependent or independent student. To be considered an independent student, you must meet the criteria to answer 'Yes' to at least one of the questions listed in that part of the FAFSA. You can view those questions at the FAFSA website at
Also, the Financial Aid Office can override a student's dependent status but to do so requires some very unusual family situations. These situations require documented evidence from third-party witnesses (police reports, clergy, counselors, etc.).  To determine if your situation would meet the criteria for an override, contact the Financial Aid Office and speak to a financial aid counselor.
O.  What is the interest rate on my loans?
For Federal Direct loans such as the Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Parent PLUS and Grad PLUS Loans as well as the Federal Perkins Loans, the interest rate information can be found at
P.  I have a credit on my bill. When and how do I get the money?
If the disbursement amount exceeds school charges, the remaining balance is issued as a refund and checks are mailed to students' local mailing address.  Students are no longer permitted to pick up refund checks in person.  Students should update their local mailing address by logging into their FELiX account to assure their local address is current; therefore, avoiding any delays in receiving the refund check.
Q.  Why hasn't my aid posted to my Student Account?
There could be many reasons why your financial aid has not been posted to your student account.  Some of the most common items are listed below:
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) - If you are on Suspension Status, your aid will be held until you regain eligibility or an appeal is filed and approved.
  • Promissory note and other paperwork - A master promissory note and/or entrance counseling will be needed for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.  For a PLUS Loan, both a Master Promissory Note and the application resulting in a credit check approval have to be in place for a disbursement to occur. For you to receive a Perkins Loan, a master promissory note must be on file.
  • Entrance Counseling - First-time Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan borrowers are required to successfully complete this online counseling to have the loan(s) disbursed. It typically takes up to 2 business days for the results to be downloaded to our system.
  • For most scholarships and some grants, students are required to maintain a full-time status. Loan programs require at least half-time enrollment.
R.  Is there any aid available if I decide to attend summer school?
For summer sessions, students may only receive remaining federal aid eligibility not used during Fall & Spring terms (Federal Pell Grant and/or Direct Loans for students). Funding may or may not be available for a full- or part-time job through the Federal Work Study program. The majority of students attending Summer term, will need to seek a private loan or have a parent qualify for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. Graduate or Professional students can seek a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.
S.  Why am I on Suspension Status?
All undergraduate and graduate students are monitored for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). 
  • Your "completion rate" reflects the ratio between the credit hours you have attempted and the credit hours you have successfully completed. Withdrawals, failing grades, and incompletes can affect your SAP status or eligibility for financial aid, as can a low grade point average.
  • If you do not meet the cumulative GPA and/or completion percentage requirements, you will be suspended and notified accordingly. Students on suspended status will not be eligible for aid. 
  • If you have almost reached your maximum time-frame, you will be notified. If you reach your maximum time frame, you will be put on Suspension Status and will no longer be eligible to receive aid.
  • For a more detailed description of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, visit  If your eligibility has been suspended, you may file an appeal with our office if extenuating circumstances exist.
T.  What is the status of my appeal?
Our goal is to have students notified of the appeal decision prior to the term beginning for which they are appealing.  Please refer to the deadline dates at:  The student will be sent an email notice of the appeal outcome.  


Net Price Calculator

Net Price Calculator
Fairmont State is pleased to provide the student aid calculator to assist you in estimating your costs to attend FSU.  Results are based on 2022-2023 Estimated Cost of Attendance figures and student aid eligibility requirements which are subject to change.  These results should assist you in determining an estimate of your out-of-pocket expense to attend Fairmont State.

Office Hours

  • Monday-Friday:  8:00 am - 4:00 pm




Contact Info

Office of Financial Aid
Turley Student Services Center
Room 303
Phone: (800) 641-5678, Opt. 2
(304) 367-4141
Fax: (304) 367-4789

School Code:  003812