Financial Aid

The costs of higher education have skyrocketed in the last 35 years, especially at private colleges. While Shippensburg provides the private school experience at state school prices, many students still need financial assistance to attend college.

In order to receive assistance from the Federal government (Pell Grants excluded), you must be enrolled in at least 6 credits (half-time status) in a semester, meet U.S. citizenship requirements, and not be convicted of an offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance while previously receiving financial aid.

Financial aid is often associated with tuition assistance, but federal, state and institutional aid can also be used to pay for room and meal plans, and can be used for books and personal expenses related to your education. Shippensburg offers five types of financial aid — Shippensburg scholarships, federal and state grants (grants and scholarships are gift aid and do not need to be re-paid), federal and alternative loans, (loans must be re-paid when the student leaves school) work-study programs (employment), and veterans' benefits.

To apply for financial aid, simply submit the FAFSA (www.fafsa.ed.gov) and have the results sent to Shippensburg University. The Federal School Code for Shippensburg University is 003326.

After being accepted to Shippensburg, you can go to the admissions portal to activate your account. Once your account is activated, you can follow these instructions to view your aid award or see if you have any missing documents we need to process your aid.

New FAFSA Available October 1, 2016

What’s changing for 2017–2018?

Starting with the 2017–18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), these changes will in effect:

  • You’ll be able to submit your FAFSA® earlier. You can file your 2017–18 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling you to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.
  • You’ll use earlier income and tax information. Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will be required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, you—and your parent(s), as appropriate—will report your 2015 income and tax information, rather than your 2016 income and tax information.

The following table provides a summary of key dates as we transition to using the early FAFSA submission time frame and earlier tax information.

When a Student Is Attending College (School Year) When a Student Can Submit a FAFSA Which Year’s Income and Tax Information Is Required
July 1, 2015–June 30, 2016 January 1, 2015–June 30, 2016 2014
July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017 January 1, 2016–June 30, 2017 2015
July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018 October 1, 2016–June 30, 2018 2015
July 1, 2018–June 30, 2019 October 1, 2017–June 30, 2019 2016

The Financial Aid office is urging ALL students to please update their already filed 2016/17 FAFSA NOW to link the tax data for 2015 onto the processed forms BEFORE filing the 2017/18 FAFSA after October 1.

How will the changes benefit me?

We expect that you’ll benefit in these ways:

  • Because the FAFSA will ask for older income and tax information, you will already have done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, and you won’t need to estimate your tax information and then go back into the FAFSA later to update it.
  • Because you’ll already have done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, you may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to automatically import your tax information into your FAFSA. (Learn about the IRS DRT at StudentAid.gov/irsdrt .)
  • Because the FAFSA is available earlier, you may feel less pressure due to having more time to explore and understand your financial aid options and apply for aid before your state’s and school’s deadlines.

Will FAFSA deadlines be earlier since the application is launching earlier?

We expect that most state and school deadlines will remain approximately the same as in 2016–17. However, several states that offer first come, first served financial aid will change their deadlines from “as soon as possible after January 1” to “as soon as possible after October 1.” So, as always, it’s important that you check your state and school deadlines so that you don’t miss out on any aid. State deadlines are on fafsa.gov; school deadlines are on schools’ websites.

Since the 2017–18 FAFSA asks for the same tax and income information as the 2016–17 FAFSA, will my 2016–17 FAFSA information automatically be carried over into my 2017–18 renewal FAFSA?

No; too much could have changed since you filed your last FAFSA, and there’s no way to predict what might be different, so you’ll need to enter the information again. However, keep in mind that many people are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically import their tax information into the FAFSA, making the process of reporting tax information quick and easy.

Can I choose to report 2016 information if my family’s financial situation has changed since our 2015 taxes were filed?

You must report the information the FAFSA asks for. If your family’s income has changed substantially since the 2015 tax year, talk to the financial aid office at your school about the family’s situation.

Note: The FAFSA asks for marital status as of the day you fill it out. So if you’re married now but weren’t in 2015 (and therefore didn’t file taxes as married), you’ll need to add your spouse’s income to your FAFSA. Similarly, if you filed your 2015 taxes as married but you’re no longer married when you fill out the FAFSA, you’ll need to subtract your spouse’s income.

Will I receive aid offers earlier if I apply earlier?

Not necessarily; some schools will make offers earlier while others won’t. If you’re thinking of transferring to another school, you might want to look at the College Scorecard at collegescorecard.ed.gov to compare costs at different schools while you wait for your aid offers to arrive. Note: You should be aware that the maximum Federal Pell Grant for 2017–18 won’t be known until early 2017, so keep in mind that even if you do receive an aid offer early, it could change due to various factors.

How will I know what schools to list on the FAFSA if I haven’t decided which schools I’ll be applying to?

List any schools you’re considering applying to, and we’ll send your FAFSA information to them. Later, if you decide to apply to additional schools that you didn’t list on the FAFSA, you can log back in at fafsa.gov and add those schools.

Where can I get more information about—and help with—the FAFSA?

Visit StudentAid.gov/fafsa ; and remember, as you fill out your FAFSA at fafsa.gov , you can refer to help text for every question and (during certain times of day) chat online with a customer service representative. Or contact SHIP’s Financial Aid office at finaid@ship.edu or 717-477-1131.