Tips for Completing Your FAFSA
Complete the FAFSA online, if possible.
We recommend completing the FAFSA online to speed up processing time and to reduce the potential for errors. If you have any problems, contact the Federal Student Information Center:
If you must complete a paper FAFSA, you can download the 2016-17 FAFSA [pdf] and mail the paper copy to Federal Student Aid Programs, P.O. Box 7650, London, KY 40742-7650.
Enter the USC Columbia Federal School Code.
While you only need to complete one FAFSA, you can designate multiple schools to receive your FAFSA results. In the designated section, please use the University of South Carolina Columbia's Federal School Code — 003448 — so your FAFSA results will be sent to us.
In this same section, you will also need to indicate your housing plans (living on campus, off campus or with a parent). Please note that the University of South Carolina requires all freshman students to live on campus.
Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
If you have already completed your tax returns, you should try to use the IRS Data Retrieval feature offered in the financial information section of the FAFSA. This will allow your financial information and your parents' (if a dependent student) to be imported directly from the IRS database. To learn more about the data retrieval process and how to use it, you may watch this helpful online tutorial.
Sign your FAFSA with your FSA ID.
When submitting your FAFSA online, you and your parent (if dependent) will need to sign the FAFSA with your FSA ID.
Meet the April 1 annual priority deadline.
In order to be fully considered for USC Columbia financial aid resources, we must receive your completed FAFSA by April 1. A complete FAFSA status means that you have turned in all documentation that we may have requested, and your FAFSA status is shown as complete on Self-Service Carolina. You can check your eligibility requirements on SSC by choosing "Financial Aid" and selecting "Eligibility."
To ensure you meet the April 1 priority deadline, we strongly encourage you to complete your FAFSA no later than late February or early March.
If you complete your FAFSA application after the priority deadline, you will still be eligible to receive Pell Grant and Direct Loan funds for which you qualify. Meeting the priority deadline, however, assures your consideration for all of the aid program funding we have available.
If we require additional information, we will request the missing information by sending an email to your university email address or the email you provided on your FAFSA. If your email address is invalid, we will send printed information to your regular postal mail address. Once our files are complete, we will inform you about your aid eligibility.
Please contact us if your plans have changed and you will no longer be attending the University of South Carolina.
Status and Results
You can check the status of your financial aid application by logging on to Self-Service Carolina and then choosing "Financial Aid" and selecting "Eligibility." Carefully review your application status and submit any requests for additional information or clarification as soon as possible so that your financial aid package can be completed.
If you completed the online application and listed USC Columbia as one of your schools, your FAFSA results will be sent directly to our office in approximately 7-10 business days.