Office of Student Financial Aid

Step-by-step FAFSA guide: how to apply for financial aid

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is required to qualify for almost all types of financial aid, including loans. You must fill out a new FAFSA every year if you want aid.

When you submit the FAFSA to the U.S. Department of Education, it estimates how much your family can afford to pay for college. An underlying premise of its financial aid policy is that it is the family’s primary responsibility to pay for college. Rarely does financial aid cover all your college expenses.

The purpose of financial aid is to supplement what your family can afford to pay.

Even if you think you won’t qualify for federal aid because your income is too high, fill out the FAFSA. Many scholarships require it. And you might be surprised by what you qualify for.  For instance, if you have a sibling starting college, you may qualify for more financial aid.

DO I FILL OUT THE FAFSA OR DO MY PARENTS?

It’s your FAFSA. You need to fill out the application and must sign the form before submitting it. Your parent(s) also have to provide financial information and sign the application if you are a dependent student. A series of questions on the application will help you determine if you’re a dependent or independent student. Or watch this video for an explanation. All graduate and professional students are considered independent.

*Most international students are not eligible for federal financial aid and do NOT need to fill out a FAFSA. If you are an eligible noncitizen, you may qualify for federal financial aid. Complete the FAFSA to determine your eligibility. Learn more about what scholarships international students are eligible for.

FAFSA Timeline

Oct. 1: FAFSA opens for next award year
Jan. 3: UToledo’s priority FAFSA filing date for new students
Feb. 1: UToledo’s priority FAFSA filing date for continuing students
March through July: Summer Financial Aid application available

UToledo Federal School Code:

003131

You must include this on your FAFSA so we get your info.

FAFSA checklist

1. Obtain a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID.

An FSA ID is a username and password you use to log in to fill out the FAFSA.

  • Your FSA ID is used to sign legally binding documents electronically.
  • If you are a dependent student and your parent(s) have to add their financial information, your parent(s) will need their own FSA ID. If you have siblings attending college, your parent(s) can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications.
  • Don't lose it! Save it somewhere safe. You will use the same ID each year when you submit your FAFSA.

Create or retrieve a forgotten FSA ID

2. Gather all relevant documentation.

  • Social security number
  • Alien registration number if you aren't a U.S. citizen
  • Federal income tax returns, W-2s and records of other income (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
  • Records of untaxed income
  • Bank and investment statements
  • FSA ID

If you are a dependent student, you also will need most of the same information for your parent(s).

You can start filling out the application even if you don't have all the necessary financial information. Just save it and come back later.

3. Fill out and submit the FAFSA.

You may fill out and submit the FAFSA in a variety of ways.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool can make your life easier. The tool electronically transfers your tax return information into the FAFSA. We strongly recommend that you use it. It may reduce the chance our financial aid office will need additional documentation.

4. Wait for an Email from Federal Student Aid.

You'll receive an email within a few days of your FAFSA submission, notifying you that your application was processed. Your information will be sent to The University of Toledo if you included our school code. If we need additional information, we will contact you.

5. Review And Accept Your Financial Aid Award From UToledo Through MyUT.

When we receive your FAFSA information, the Office of Student Financial Aid office determines how much aid you’re eligible for and creates your financial aid offer. We also refer to it as your aid package.

Financial aid offers are posted to myUT beginning in mid-March for new students and mid-April for continuing students. We send an email to your Rockets email when the aid is posted. Within a week or two, first-time undergraduate students will receive a more detailed aid offer letter by mail.

Financial aid offers for new first-time students are posted after you've been fully admitted to your program.

To view your award:
Go to myUT → Student tab → My Financial Aid → Award Overview


What is Verification?

Sometimes we need to compare the information you reported on your FAFSA with additional documents we ask you to provide. Selection for this process is determined by the federal FAFSA processor and is called verification.

What to do if I’m chosen for verification

What if my financial circumstances change?

We realize financial circumstances can change. If the information you reported on your FAFSA does not reflect your current financial situation, you may be eligible for an adjustment to your financial aid by completing UToledo's Special Circumstances Application. Contact Rocket Solution Central for assistance.

How do I get aid for the summer semester?

Most financial aid can be used for summer semesters. But you’ll need to fill out a summer aid application.

summer aid requirements and eligibility

Have Questions?

Ask Rocket Solution Central.

Rocket Solution Central — or RSC — is your one-stop answer shop for financial aid questions.

Call 419.530.8700
Monday - Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Visit 1200 Rocket Hall
Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

No need to wait in line. Register through Rocket Q ahead of time or when you arrive. You'll receive wait-time updates and be notified when it's your turn.

Register by texting "University of Toledo" to 419.419.3430 or by entering your information online.

Rocket Financial Wellness Center

We could all use some help managing our money. Explore this site built in partnership with Huntington Bank. You’ll find simple, helpful tools to improve your money management skills ― whether you’re a high school student, undergraduate or upperclassman ready to graduate.

  • How to pay for college
  • Managing student loans
  • Making a budget
  • And more
Visit the Rocket Financial Wellness Center
Last Updated: 9/28/22