Applying for financial aid
Returning Undergraduate Students
1. Obtain a Federal Student Aid PIN if you did not complete the FAFSA in a prior year. We recommend that every student complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to determine maximum eligibility for federal, state, and Berry College financial assistance. As a returning Berry College student you may have completed the FAFSA in a prior year; if so, you should use the same PIN as you used in the past. If you have received a PIN previously but cannot locate it, you may request a Duplicate PIN or change your PIN online. Before completing the FAFSA you must apply for a PIN if you do not already have one. This number is used each year to electronically apply for federal student aid and to access your U.S. Department of Education records online. It serves both as an electronic signature and provides access to your personal records online. Electronic signatures hold the same legal status as written signatures so please keep this number in a secure place. Your parents will also need a PIN so be sure to apply for one at the Federal Student Aid PIN Web site before you begin to complete the FAFSA.
2. Complete the FAFSA and review the results. Complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov. The Berry College school identification number is 001554 and should be entered when you list schools to which the information should be sent. You will receive a copy of your FAFSA results, the Student Aid Report or SAR, at the email address you list on the form approximately 4-6 days after filing the form electronically. If you file the paper version it can take several weeks to receive the results by U. S. Mail. Review the form carefully for errors and follow the instructions provided to make corrections. Remember, the FAFSA must be completed annually and is available online January 1st of each year.
3. When completing the FAFSA, parents and students are strongly encouraged to use IRS Data retrieval to access the tax return information needed and transfer their income data directly into their FAFSA from the IRS web site.
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is recommended for the following reasons:
- It's the easiest way to provide your tax data.
- It's the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax information.
- You won't need to provide a copy of you or your parents' IRS tax return transcripts to your college.
4. Georgia residents should complete the HOPE, Zell Miller, and Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant (GTEG) application online at www.fafsa.gov or by using the GSFAPPS at www.GAcollege411.org Completing this application allows you to have your eligibility determined for the HOPE Scholarship of $3,936, Zell Miller Scholarship of $4,348, and the Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant (GTEG) of $900.
5. Promptly submit any additional information that is requested by the Berry College Financial Aid Office. The federal processor selects a percentage of FAFSA filers to complete a process called verification which requires students to complete a verification worksheet, submit tax transcripts, and other items. You will be notified by the Financial Aid Office if you need to provide this information. It is important that you respond promptly to any request for additional information as failing to provide it can delay the receipt of your financial aid award information.
6. Review the Financial Aid Award letter you receive from Berry College. You will receive a financial aid award letter from Berry College when your FAFSA information is complete. If a student loan is included in your award there will be instructions on how to complete that application process as well as other information about renewal of awards and other institutional financial aid policies. It is important for you to be familiar with all information provided and to contact our office with any questions you may have.