Here are some helpful tips for successfully applying for financial aid.

  • FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid): The FAFSA must be completed each academic year if you wish to be considered for most financial aid programs.
  • Estimated Tax Information: It is acceptable to estimate the tax information requested on FAFSA and update to the actual amounts at a later date.
  • Federal Tax Return: Plan to have your federal tax returns completed early to allow for the timely filing of accurate tax information.
  • Federal PIN: Plan to apply for your PIN at www.pin.ed.gov. This is your electronic signature to sign your FAFSA.
  • Social Security Number (SSN): Be sure you have correctly reported your SSN and date of birth on both the NIU Admissions application and the FAFSA.
  • Check Your Information: You will receive from the Department of Education a Student Aid Report (SAR) once your FAFSA application has been processed. Look over the SAR carefully to ensure all information is correct.
  • FAFSA Priority Filing Date: The priority filing date for NIU is March 1st prior to the academic year for which you are applying. We will continue to accept and process applications after March 1st, but it is important to note that some financial aid funds run out quickly, so early filing is encouraged.
  • Please read this tutorial on the 7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA