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Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are answers to frequently asked questions. For further assistance, contact Student Financial Aid.

Do I have to complete the FAFSA every year?

Yes, you need to complete the FAFSA each year.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) requires residents of Indiana to complete the FAFSA (including clearing all critical errors and missing information) by April 15th of the upcoming award year in order to determine eligibility for state grants/scholarships. Go to to make corrections to your FAFSA.

ISU must have correct and complete information by your last day of enrollment. The final date to submit the FAFSA for federal aid is June 30th. For important FAFSA dates, refer to these dates and deadlines.

For instructions, see applying for aid.

Which year's income and tax information is required?

You'll use earlier income and tax information when filing your FAFSA. For more assistance visit our FAFSA page or Tax Return Transcript page.


Why do I need an FSA ID?

Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents. You will need an FSA ID to electronically sign and submit your FAFSA, as well as to make any needed corrections later. And if you are a dependent student, your parent will need his or her own FSA ID, too.

Do not allow someone to create your FSA ID for you, and you should not create one for someone else. Not even for a family member. This can cause problems with your financial aid down the road. Visit this page for detailed instructions.

Why do I have to provide parent/stepparent information on the FAFSA?

The federal government has established criteria for classifying financial aid applicants as dependent or independent. Your dependency status is determined after completing the questions in "Step Three" of the FAFSA. If you are dependent, your parents' assets and income as well as your own are needed to evaluate your financial need. If you are independent, your need is evaluated solely on your (and if married your spouse’s) income and assets.

If you are considered an independent student, parental information will not be required. In certain cases, additional documentation will be required for some of the questions in "Step Three" of the FAFSA for independent students.

If you were considered an independent student for financial aid purposes at a previous school based on a professional judgment, you do not automatically qualify for independent status at Indiana State University.

What should I do if my family experiences unusual circumstances after filing the FAFSA?

You will need to complete and submit a Special Circumstances Appeal Form and supporting documentation to the Office of Student Financial Aid. The form outlines the types of requests we can consider. Depending upon your circumstances, we encourage you to submit the form as soon as possible.

Each appeal is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Any adjustments made to your FAFSA will be submitted to the federal processor for a recalculation of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). You will be notified in writing when your appeal form has been reviewed. If there is a change in your award package, you will receive a revised Financial Aid Notification award letter.

Where can I get more money than what I have been awarded?

The outside scholarships and the private alternative loan programs are generally two options that may be available to students when there is unmet need. For information on these program requirements, visit types of aid.

How do I buy my books if I don't have my financial aid yet?

Students are generally expected to pay for books with their refunds or other personal means. A student can expect to receive a refund of aid if:

  • The Student has satisfied all financial aid requirements shown on the portal, such as:

    • Turned in any missing documents
    • Completed verification, if selected
    • Web accepted loans, if available
    • Completed entrance counseling for any loans
    • Signed any required master promissory notes; and
  • The student has been awarded aid over the amount of tuition and room/board (if living on-campus)

Refunds are available no earlier than 10 calendar days before the first day of class. The most convenient way to get a refund (if available) is to sign up for Direct Deposit. If a student meets all of the conditions to receive a refund before the start of class but has not actually received the money, the student can apply for an Administrative Loan to obtain books before the 7th day of class. Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid if you believe you qualify for an Administrative Loan.

When is my aid going to disburse?

You must meet all the institution requirements before financial aid is disbursed to your student account. The initial disbursement of aid occurs 10 days prior to the start of the semester, exception summer. Half of the amount applied for is disbursed at the start of the fall semester and the other half at the start of the spring semester.  Be sure to check out the minimum credit hour requirements for each type of aid and check the MyISU Portal for any outstanding requirements.

Where is my loan money?

Generally, you may not have received your loan funds due to not completing one or more of the required steps, including accepting your Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans online or completing the Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling. You can check for other requirements on Types of Aid webpage or you can speak with a financial aid staff member.

How do I find my 1098T?

Indiana State University is required to issue From 1098-T, Tuition Statement, which reports either qualified education expenses billed during the calendar year or qualified education expenses paid during the calendar year. Visit the Office of the Controller webpage for more information.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is used to define successful completion of coursework to maintain eligibility for student financial aid. Federal regulations require us to establish, publish, and apply standards to monitor your progress towards completion of your certificate or degree program. If you fail to meet these standards, you will be placed on financial aid probation or suspension. Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to receive funding from the following federal programs: Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Work Study, Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan, and Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. Some additional grants and scholarships may also use the SAP standards as minimum criteria for receipt of funding.

SAP SUSPENSION may be appealed if unusual and/or mitigating circumstances affected academic progress. Such circumstances may include a severe illness or injury to the student or an immediate family member, the death of a student's relative, student activation into military service, or other circumstances as deemed appropriate for consideration by the SAP Appeals Committee.

The student must submit a typed letter and a completed SAP Appeal Form to the Office of Student Financial Aid explaining in detail why he or she failed to meet the minimum academic standards, what unusual and/or mitigating circumstances caused the failure, and how the situation has improved. The student will be notified in writing of the decision made by the Appeals Committee. Any appeal approvals will give the conditions and timeframe for maintaining aid eligibility. All decisions of the SAP Appeals Committee are final. Students who raise their cumulative standards to equal or exceed the minimum requirements will be reinstated to SAP GOOD STANDING from that point forward.

Read our Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

What does Verification mean?

Verification is a Federal process used to confirm students's eligibility for certain aid programs.  Students who are selected for verification must submit information to verify the data that they provided on the FAFSA.  Please visit our Verification webpage for more information.

Why can't you give me information about my son/daughter's account?

ISU cannot release student information to anyone unless the student has consented to the disclosure of information because of FERPA. FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. This Act was passed by Congress in 1974 and is also referred to as the Buckley Amendment. Records that are protected by FERPA include personal information, enrollment records, grades, and class schedules. The University must have written permission from the student before releasing information from the student's record.

To set up a FERPA proxy, visit privacy rights and policy.

How can I get an SEL/Emergency Book Loan?

The Sycamore Emergency Loan Program is intended to assist students who have a need for short-term financial assistance, and who agree to use these funds exclusively to pay educational expenses related to their attendance at Indiana State University.

Available to all full-time students in good academic standing, loans can be made to a maximum of $400 (in $50 increments) and must be repaid within 30 days. Loans must be repaid within the semester for which the funds are intended. There is no interest charge associated with this emergency loan program. A student may have no more than one loan outstanding at a time. For more information - Click Here.

Can I use financial aid to cover off campus living expenses?

Yes, you can use financial aid to cover living expenses for on or off campus. The Office of Student Financial Aid calculates the Cost of Attendance for all students which determines the maximum amount of financial aid that a student can receive. If the total amount of financial aid is greater than the total charges on a student's account, the student will be issued a refund. This refund can be used to pay for educational expenses including off campus housing.