Student Financial Aid

Guide to the FAFSA

Use the following steps to assist you in applying for financial aid. If you need help or answers, continuing Berea College students should contact Amy DeStefanis, Financial Aid Counselor in Student Financial Aid Services, at 859-985-3315 or email If you are an entering new student contact Erin Connor, the Family Engagement Counselor for Berea College Admissions and Student Financial Aid Services, at 859-985-3514 or email

Step 1—Apply for Federal FSA ID Here

You will need this to use as your electronic signature when you complete your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online. Your student will need a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID), and a parent will also need a separate FSA ID (if the student is a dependent student and required to provide parental information on the FAFSA). We strongly encourage you to apply for your FSA ID now, so that you don’t run into delays in January when many people will be beginning the process of applying for a FSA ID.

Step 2—File the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Here


fafsa-club Berea College asks that you file your FAFSA by our Priority Filing Date of January, 31. To complete your FAFSA before state grant funds are depleted, the federal government recommends that you estimate your tax information for the FAFSA, and then update your FAFSA after filing taxes.

Include Berea College as a school you would like to receive your FAFSA. You will need our school code: 001955.

Step 3—Review your Student Aid Report (SAR)

The Student Aid Report (SAR) is a paper or electronic document that gives you information about your eligibility for federal student aid and lists your answers to the questions on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

If you provided a valid e-mail address on your FAFSA, you will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to access an online copy of your SAR. Typically, you will be able to access your SAR within two weeks of filing your FAFSA.

You can also view or print your SAR by clicking Login on the FAFSA on the Web home page to log in, then selecting either the PDF or HTML version of the SAR from the “My FAFSA” page.

Step 4—Review your Financial Aid Award Letter

Your  Official Financial Aid Award Letter will be mailed to you from Berea College Student Financial Aid Services after you file the FAFSA early in the spring.

Your Award Letter is designed to help you understand the costs of attending Berea as well as the financial aid available to help you cover those costs, based on your current FAFSA information.

Verification Process

verificationEach year, the federal government selects a large number of Pell-eligible students for a process called verification, and most Berea College students are selected each year. If you are selected, it is not an indication that you have done anything incorrectly; it is just a routine part of the financial aid process that many families have to complete each year at colleges all across the country. Students selected for this process will be required to submit additional documents to verify the information reported on the FAFSA.

If you are and entering freshman and are selected, our Family Engagement Counselor, Erin Connor, will be in contact with you to help with the process.

You will receive a Verification Worksheet with specific instructions as well as any additional needed worksheets or documents.

If you used estimates on your FAFSA, you will not be able to fully complete verification until your FAFSA has been updated. It will be important for you to file taxes as early as possible so that you can update your FAFSA information.

In order to complete verification, you will have to complete the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA website OR order a Tax Return Transcript. If you are selected for verification, we will send you detailed instructions on how to complete these steps.

Please use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your FAFSA  2 – 3 weeks after taxes have been filed. See this YouTube for easy directions on how to use the Data Retrieval Tool. Even though the video was made previously (2014-2015), the process is the same and the information provided should be helpful for the 2015-2016 FAFSA processing year.

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