UNC Greensboro financial aid – such as loans, grants, and some scholarships – is awarded through the Financial Aid Office to eligible students based on information reported each year in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
A new FAFSA should be filed each year the student wants to be considered for financial aid. File as early as possible for the best chance for the most aid.
Students must report UNCG’s Federal School Code (002976) when they file in order for UNCG to consider them for financial aid.
FAFSA info for new students
New incoming students at UNCG can file a FAFSA in the same way as a current student, via www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Students can file the FAFSA before applying to UNCG, but they will not get awarded until they have been admitted. The Financial Aid Office begins processing aid awards in March for admitted students, so it’s important to apply for admission and financial aid early.
Aid is awarded to any admitted student who has filed a FAFSA. Students do not have to confirm their intent to enroll to receive a financial aid offer.
The First Steps Brochure is a guide designed to help new college students navigate the financial aid process.
What information is needed on the FAFSA
Students need to have the following on hand:
- Social Security Number.
- Alien Registration Number (if student is not a U.S. citizen).
- Prior year federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: Many students and parents are able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
- Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable).
- Records of untaxed income (if applicable).
- An FSA ID to sign electronically.
Undergraduate dependent students will need the above information for their parents during filing as well. Make sure both the student and parent (for undergraduate dependent students) sign the FAFSA or it will be rejected.
DEPENDENCY STATUS ON THE FAFSA: Dependency status determines whose information must be reported on the FAFSA. A dependent student is required to report both student and parent information. An independent student will report only student (and spouse, if applicable) information. More info about how to determine dependency status is on the Department of Education website.
When to File the FAFSA
As a general rule, students should file the FAFSA as early as possible. The FAFSA for each academic year is available almost a year in advance, starting October 1 for the upcoming academic year. The FAFSA always uses the previous year’s tax information. (For example, October 1, 2020 the FAFSA will be available for 2021-2022 and will use 2019 tax information.)
UNCG’s Priority Filing Date is January 15.
File by the priority date for the best access to the maximum aid available. There is limited financial aid funding in some areas like state grants, so students who apply by the priority date receive priority access to those limited funds.
Students can apply after the priority date, as late as June 30 of the academic year in which they need aid. (For example, file by June 30, 2022, for the 2021-22 school year.)
Common FAFSA mistakes
It’s important to read all FAFSA instructions very carefully as incorrect or incomplete information will delay a student’s aid being processed. Here are some of the most common errors to avoid.
- Make sure the name, birthdate, and social security number listed are all correct.
- Pay close attention to tax reporting sections and pull the requested IRS form lines correctly.
- Enter accurate housing plans for the coming academic year. Incorrect or missing housing information may make the student’s financial aid award incorrect and require a delay while it is recalculated.
- Respond to requests for verification and/or missing items as quickly as possible to ensure aid is processed with no or minimal delays.
- Keep all supporting documents for reference. Students may be requested to provide them later to the Financial Aid Office.
View “Understanding the FAFSA” video playlist
Interested in applying for PLUS loans?
Graduate students and Parents who wish to apply for a PLUS Loan must submit an application in addition to the FAFSA and be approved based on credit.
Follow these steps to apply:
- Go to www.studentaid.gov
- Select Apply for a PLUS loan.
- Using FSAID and password, log in to complete the Direct PLUS Loan Application for Graduate/Professional Students (or Direct PLUS Loan Application for Parents)
- Select Award Year
- Complete Borrower Information Section
- Complete School and Loan Information Section
- Select Loan Period
- Review Application
- Authorize Credit Check and Submit
- An electronic confirmation will be transmitted to UNCG’s Financial Aid Office. If the PLUS loan is credit approved, it will be added to the student’s financial aid award.
- If the PLUS loan is credit denied, the borrower may opt to find an endorser for the PLUS loan. Please contact the UNCG Financial Aid Office if an endorser will be used.
- A separate, Master Promissory Note must be completed for all students borrowing a Federal Direct Graduate or Parent PLUS loan. The MPN can be completed here. (Parents must sign the MPN for the Parent PLUS Loan.)
Parents’ role in financial aid
Parents of dependent students seeking financial aid for an undergraduate degree must participate in the financial aid application process by completing and signing the FAFSA along with the student, and providing documents if requested.
To provide the required information on a student’s FAFSA, the parent should complete the following steps:
- Create an FSA ID.
- Have the student log in to the FAFSA using their own separate FSA ID.
- Use the parent’s FSA ID to retrieve IRS data when prompted. (Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, if applicable, saves a lot of time in the filing process.)
- Provide any additional information, such as details about bank accounts, investments, and untaxed income.
- Sign the completed FAFSA alongside the student using the parent FSA ID.
Parents who are unsure about whether to include their information or another parent’s information, or who have questions about how to report details on the FAFSA, please refer to the Federal Student Aid website.
When aid is awarded, it is usually all in the student’s name. Any grants, subsidized or unsubsidized loans, and/or scholarships are solely connected to the student. The student does not need a cosigner for their federal student loans.
Parents may opt to apply for a Federal Parent PLUS loan if their student is considered a dependent on the FAFSA. If the parent is approved (based on a credit evaluation), the parent can take the loan for use toward the student’s educational costs. If the parent is denied, there is an option where the student can receive additional loan funds. The Parent PLUS loan application is available through the Federal Student Aid website.
Unsatisfied requirements and Verification
After submitting the FAFSA, students may receive an email stating their Financial Aid file is incomplete. This means there is something that will prevent the aid from being awarded or being disbursed, or paid, to the student’s account.
How to review unsatisfied requirements
- Log in to UNCGenie by clicking the “Enter Secure Area” option and signing in with UNCG ID# and PIN.
- Click on Financial Aid.
- Click on Eligibility.
- Select Aid Year, then click on the drop down box for the current or upcoming Academic Year.
- Review Unsatisfied Requirements.
- No action is required from you – Means that there is processing that needs to occur on the Financial Aid side.
- Requested – This means student action is still needed
- Received not yet Reviewed – This means Financial Aid has received the item but has not looked at it yet.
- Received, Incomplete – This means Financial Aid has received the item but more information is needed.
- Satisfied – This means Financial Aid has reviewed and processed the outstanding document and the outstanding item is complete.
Always read all listed requirements as some of them may be related. For example, a student selected for Verification will have a Verification Review requirement that will be updated based on the other items listed.
Any requirements that require a form to be completed will have a link to the required form directly in UNCGenie. Forms can also be found on our Forms page.
How to upload requested documents
Students should provide requested documents via the secure Document Uploader in UNCGenie. Scan documents so they can be viewed clearly. There are several free mobile scanner apps that will allow students to use the camera on their phone.
To use the Document Uploader:
- Go to UNCGenie
- Click the ”Enter Secure Area” option on the UNCGenie Home page and enter your Student/University ID Number and your UNCG PIN
- Go to Financial Aid tab in UNCGenie
- Select Financial Aid Document Upload at the bottom of the page
Citizenship documentation requests
Sometimes, the Department of Education is unable to verify the student’s citizenship status with the Social Security Administration or with the United States Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS). In these cases, UNCG’s Financial Aid Office is required to submit additional documentation from the student to USCIS. This process may take an additional 4-6 weeks before the student’s file can be completed.
For U.S. Citizens
Students will be asked to provide a copy of at least of one of the following:
- Birth certificate showing they were born in the U. S.
- Valid U.S. passport
- Certificate of Citizenship
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Report of Birth Abroad (form FS-240)
- Certificate of Birth Abroad (form FS-545 or DS-1350)
- Freedom of Information Act Form (G-639)
This documentation must be submitted in person by the student or be accompanied by the Citizenship Affidavit form.
Note: Students flagged for additional citizenship documentation are urged to update their citizenship status with the Social Security Administration so that they will pass future checks.
For eligible non-citizens
Students will be asked to provide a copy of their social security card AND a copy of one of the following documents:
- Permanent, current, and valid Resident Alien Card
- Alien Registration Receipt Card, Form I-151, I-551
- Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94
- Valid passport stamped “Processed for I-551” with an expiration date
This documentation must be submitted in person by the student or be accompanied by the Citizenship Affidavit form. The UNCG Financial Aid Office will provide a copy of the submitted documentation to USCIS. Documentation will be reviewed and financial aid eligibility status will be determined.
Information about financial aid eligibility is available here.
Selective service documentation
The Department of Education requires males to be registered with Selective Service to be eligible to receive federal financial aid. The Department of Education will use student FAFSA data to perform a database match with the Selective Service System to determine registration status.
Students whose status cannot be confirmed through the database match process will have to submit documentation of their registration to UNCG’s Financial Aid Office. Students must submit one of the following:
- Copy of Selective Service Registration Card (card must be signed)
- Printout from Selective Service website (www.sss.gov) showing date of registration
- Selective Service Status Information Letter (if the letter says the student was not required to register)
Students who have not yet registered and have not turned 26 years old must register with Selective Service and provide valid documentation before they can receive financial aid.
Students older than 26 years who never registered with Selective Service may write a statement explaining why. Students who were not born in the U.S. can show they first entered the U.S. after age 26 by providing their passport (showing the entry stamp to the U.S.) or an I-94 form with an entry stamp.
Every year, a subset of students who apply for financial aid are selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education. This process requires schools to verify self-reported data provided on the FAFSA to ensure its accuracy.
Verification is intended to ensure that students receive the maximum aid for which they are eligible, NOT because fraud or misrepresentation is suspected.
Students who have been selected for verification will receive an email with more information about outstanding requirements and can view those requirements in their UNCGenie.
Requested documents may include:
- Completion of a Verification Worksheet
- Copies of Tax Information via the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, Tax Return Transcript, or a Non-Filing form (attached to the Verification worksheet).
- Students/parents who did not file taxes but had income will need to submit copies of their W2s.
Verification steps and timeline
- Students must submit requested documents to the Financial Aid Office. Review of these documents takes approximately 2-3 weeks.
- Any documents found to be incomplete (missing signatures, questions are left blank, etc.) must be resubmitted. NOTE: Resubmitting information starts the verification process over, which means another 2-3 weeks of review.
- Once all documents are confirmed to be complete, the Financial Aid Office will review the information and compare it with the information reported on the FAFSA.
- If the information submitted raises additional questions, the Financial Aid Office may ask for more documents for clarification. NOTE: Additional requests at this phase will restart the verification process, so respond quickly to minimize delays.
If discrepancies are found, the Financial Aid Office will make corrections to the student’s FAFSA. If the corrections lead to a change in eligibility, the Financial Aid Office will revise the student’s award.