The next step is to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must submit the FAFSA each year you seek financial aid. The FAFSA is used to assess and establish eligibility for Federal Student Aid programs.
There are several options for filing the FAFSA:
- RECOMMENDED: Apply online via FAFSA on the Web: To submit the FAFSA online visit www.fafsa.ed.gov (Make sure to have your FAFSA information electronically forwarded to Rio Salado College by listing our school code on the application. Our school code is 014483.)
- You electronically "sign" the FAFSA with your Federal Student Aid PIN, so be sure to know your PIN or apply for a PIN on the PIN website, www.pin.ed.gov. (If you are a dependent student, your parents must also get a Federal Student Aid PIN and sign the FAFSA too.)
- By applying for the FAFSA online you have the option to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students and parents may transfer the data directly into their FAFSA.
- If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, we highly recommend using the tool for several reasons:
- It's the easiest way to provide your tax data.
- It's the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax information.
- In most cases you won't need to provide a copy of your or your parents' tax return transcripts to us.
Complete a PDF FAFSA (Note: PDF FAFSAs must be mailed for processing): To download a PDF version of the FAFSA go here.
Complete a Paper FAFSA (Note: Paper FAFSAs must be mailed for processing): To request a paper FAFSA form (in English or Spanish) call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243, TTY: 1-800-730-8913.
- If you do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to provide tax information and we then request a copy of your tax return or your parents' tax return because you are selected for verification, you will be required to obtain an official tax return transcript from the IRS.
Please Note: Completing a PDF or paper form will add 4-6 weeks to the overall processing time. To reduce processing delays, avoid common FAFSA errors.
Completing the online FAFSA usually takes 1-2 hours. Once you submit the FAFSA, it takes approximately 5 business days for Rio Salado College to receive it.
The amount of Federal Student Aid you qualify for depends on many factors, including:
- Your financial need, determined by submitting the FAFSA.
- Your enrollment status at Rio Salado College, specifically, the number of credit hours that you take each semester.
- The amount of Federal Student Aid that you've previously received.
For more information about the types of aid available at Rio Salado College, please click here. The total amount of Federal Student Aid a student receives cannot exceed Rio Salado College's Cost of Attendance.
Students must meet ALL eligibility requirements described below in order to be considered for Federal Student Aid:
- Have a high school diploma, or General Education Development (GED) certificate.
- Be enrolled in a Financial Aid approved academic program (degree or certificate) at Rio Salado College.
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Have a valid Social Security number. Exceptions to this rule are students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau.
- Male students must be registered with Selective Service or must register for selective service between the ages of 18-26.
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), as defined by Rio Salado College's SAP policy.
- Not be in default on a Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Stafford Loan, Federal Supplemental Loan for Students, or Federal Direct Loan, nor owe any refund on a Federal Pell Grant or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.
- Students who have one or more loans that had previously defaulted, but who are no longer in default must obtain and provide a Title IV Eligibility Letter indicating that he/she is once again eligible to receive Federal Student Aid. This letter can be obtained by contacting the holder (guarantee agency, lender or servicer) holding the previously defaulted loan(s). It is the student's responsibility to obtain and submit this letter to the Rio Salado College Financial Aid Office.
Not have been convicted of violating any federal or state law of selling or possessing illegal drugs. Students who have one or more convictions must call 1-800-4-FED-AID to find out how this law applies to you.