Filling out the FAFSA will determine how much financial aid you’re qualified to receive.

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s the application you’ll use to apply for a majority of the financial aid processed through our office, which includes loans, grants, and work-study.

If you’re prepared with the right information, it will only take you about 30 minutes to fill out your FAFSA online. And remember: It’s free!

This is important: You’ll need to fill out a new FAFSA every year you plan to register for classes. FAFSA applications are available every October 1. Your FAFSA must be received by the federal processor by March 10 to be considered an on-time application.

Some financial aid is distributed on a first-come-first-served basis. The earlier you apply, the more financial award you may be offered. You have until the Friday before the last week of classes to apply for aid for the current semester.

Expected Family Contribution

Eligibility for many aid programs is, in part, determined by your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Your EFC will be influenced by the financial information you provide on your FAFSA. This financial information will include your adjusted gross income, as well as nontaxable income, assets, and household size.

Your EFC is determined by FAFSA. It works as an index that is used to determine eligibility for Federal Aid programs.

This is important: Please note that your EFC is not a determination of what you or your family will pay for your college education. In many cases, families contribute more than their EFC to meet all college expenses.

Dependency Status

If by FAFSA’s standards you are a dependent student, your EFC will be based on your student and parent information.

If by FAFSA’s standards you are an independent student, your EFC will be based on your information, and if applicable, your spouse’s.

This is important: Your dependency status is determined by a group of dependency questions on the FAFSA. If you can’t answer "yes" to any of these questions, you will be considered dependent and advised to supply parental information on the FAFSA.

Learn more about how aid is calculated on the Federal Student Aid website »

Submit Forms

You can submit your verification forms by the following methods:

Dependency Appeal

If you’ve been classified as dependent on the FAFSA but you feel you have extenuating circumstances, you can file a Dependency Appeal.

Learn how to file a dependency appeal now »

Eligibility and Need


To receive most types of financial aid at Indiana University Bloomington, you should:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen;
  • Have a valid Social Security number;
  • Register with Selective Service, if required;
  • Not be in default or owe an overpayment on previous federal aid or have borrowed over student loan limits;
  • Not have had federal aid suspended due to a drug conviction;
  • Complete and sign a Statement of Educational Purpose (part of FAFSA), which states that the student will use aid for educationally related expenses;
  • Be admitted to an IU Bloomington degree or teacher’s certificate program, or be taking preparatory course work for admission to an IUB graduate program;
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP); and
  • Be working at least half time toward a degree.
Half-time hours per term (fall, spring, or summer) Full-time hours per term (fall, spring, or summer)
Undergraduate 6 12
Graduate 4 8

Remember that each aid program has its own eligibility requirements. Visit Types of Aid to learn more.


Most aid we award is need based. Check out Types of Aid to find out what types of aid are need based.

Our office calculates your need by subtracting your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from your Cost of Attendance. So the formula looks like this:

Your Cost of Attendance
(minus) Your Expected Family Contribution
= Your Need

You must have an adequate amount of need to accommodate the aid we award. So if your need equals $10,000, you will receive no more than $10,000 in need-based aid. We cannot guarantee that you’ll receive enough aid to cover your entire need figure.

This is important: Regardless of the type of aid package you are awarded (need based, non-need based, or a combination of the two), your award will never exceed your total cost of attendance.

And while scholarships and fee remissions are typically not awarded based on your EFC or need, they are nonetheless included when totaling the amount of aid counted toward covering your need.

  • Let’s look at an example.

    Julie is a resident junior. Her Cost of Attendance has been estimated at $24,808, and her EFC is $19,000. Julie’s resulting need figure is $5,808 ($24,808 – $19,000). Given that she meets all necessary eligibility requirements, she can receive up to $5,808 in need-based aid. If Julie receives $3,000 in scholarships, her remaining (or unmet) need totals $2,808 ($5,808 – $3,000). Julie can then receive up to $2,808 in need-based aid (for instance, $2,808 in a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan) if eligible. There is no guarantee that your need figure will be met in full.

Non-Need-Based Aid

Some types of aid do not require a student to have need.

You can receive one of these awards even if your original need figure equals zero.

  • Let’s look at an example.

    Frederick is a nonresident sophomore. His estimated Cost of Attendance $48,666, and his EFC is $50,000. Frederick’s resulting need figure is $0 (since his EFC actually exceeds his COA). Although Frederick is not eligible for any federal or state need-based aid, he may still receive a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan for $5,500. Additionally, his parent may apply for a Federal Parent PLUS Loan, and if approved, receive the loan for up to the maximum of the difference between his budget ($48,666) and the aid already awarded ($5,500), which equals $43,166.

Financial Aid Timeline

This list of tasks and deadlines should help you stay ahead of the financial aid curve. Follow the appropriate links to learn more about each specific task. And of course, if you have any additional questions or concerns, please give us a call or stop by our office!

Tasks and Notifications Dates and Deadlines
Be Considered for Automatic Academic Scholarships
As a high school senior, this is your last day to apply to IU to be considered for automatic academic scholarships.
You must apply by November 1 to be considered.
Create your FSA ID
Your PIN allows you to give your signature electronically to the online FAFSA form.
You can apply for your PIN at the same time you file your FAFSA.
FAFSA Application Opens
Some aid is distributed on a first-come-first-served basis, so make sure you file your FAFSA as early as possible.
January 1
FAFSA Application Priority Date
Submit your FAFSA by today to be considered for the maximum amount of financial aid.
March 10
Review and Correct Your FAFSA
Log back in to the FAFSA website to make sure the information you filed is accurate. Keep an eye out for transposed numbers or extra/missing zeroes!
You can review your FAFSA as soon as you’ve filed it.
Learn How Much Aid You've Been Awarded
Freshmen will receive their Financial Aid Notifications (FANs) through the U.S. Postal Service. Current students will be notified electronically.
Freshmen notification arrives mid-March. Current student notification happens mid-June.
Future Freshmen Enrollment Deposit
You’ll need to make a deposit of $100 to indicate your intent to attend IUB. Learn more at The Office of Admissions.
May 1
Determine the Necessity of Additional Loans
 If you determine additional loans are necessary review taking out a private student loan or applying for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS or Graduate PLUS Loan.
Sign Master Promissory Note
If you're borrowing your first Direct or Direct PLUS Loan, you'll need to complete an online Master Promissory Note.
Your notification should arrive in June or early July.
Accept Your Work-Study
Incoming freshmen must accept work-study awards through One.IU or they will be cancelled.
Accept your work-study within 60 days of being awarded.
Receive Your Financial Aid
Your award will be credited to your bursar account.
Your account should be credited up to 10 days before the first day of classes.
Pay Your Bill or Look for Refund
If your financial aid exceeds your bill, you’ll get a refund. If your aid doesn’t fully pay your bill, you’ll need to pay the balance.
Use the Office of the Bursar Billing Calendar to determine when your bill is due.