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Shared Student Services

PA Program - How to Apply for Financial Aid

Students applying for any of the aid programs described herein must complete the steps described below in order for you to be evaluated for any loan or scholarship program, including all federal and institutional programs. Loan and scholarship applications will not be processed until the Financial Aid Office has received all required documents.

If you are applying for any of the following aid programs, you must complete all steps as follows:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan (UFL)
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (Grad PLUS)
  • Private Alternative Loan Programs (ALP)
  • Institutional Programs and Institutional Scholarships

Free Application for Federal Students Aid (FAFSA)

  1. First Time FAFSA Applicant: Completing an "electronic" FAFSA that is available on the U.S. Department of Education web page located here. (processing time: 10-12 days).

  2. Previous FAFSA Applicant: If you did complete a FAFSA for the current academic year, you may pre-fill your application electronically by visiting FAFSA's website and using your FSA ID.

    What is the FSA ID?
    The FSA ID, implemented on May 10, 2015 as a replacement to the Federal Student Aid PIN, is now being successfully used by millions of students, parents, and borrowers to access personal financial aid information online and to electronically sign and submit certain documents.

    Important Reminder:
    Only the FSA ID owner should create and use an FSA ID. Just as was the case with the Federal Student Aid PIN, the FSA ID is the legal signature that can be used to electronically sign important federal student aid documents, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and Direct Loan promissory notes. The FSA ID also allows online access to private and confidential information, including data from a student's FAFSA and loan information from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®). For these reasons, maintaining the security of the FSAID is critical to the integrity of student aid information and systems.

    It is important that every FSA ID Owner:

    • Create their own FSA ID by selecting their own username and password;
    • Provide their own challenge questions and responses;
    • Have access to the e-mail account associated with the FSA ID account. The e-mail address associated with one FSA ID account cannot be used by another FSA ID account.

    Do you need help with your FSA ID – resetting ID or Password:

    • Updated information and tips available here.
    • Contact FSA Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
    • Web chat is also available from the "Help Center" page under "Contact Us."

    Note to all applicants
    Whichever method you use, please complete the FAFSA according to the instructions provided. An incorrect or incomplete application will delay the financial aid process. When completing "Step Six" of the FAFSA, please provide the Institution Code for University of South Florida Systems, which is 001537.

  3. How to Apply Info Chart

    Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to transfer your federal tax data directly to your FAFSA.

    Be sure our federal school code 001537 is on your FAFSA when you apply each year. Use your FSA ID to sign your FAFSA electronically.

    Meeting the priority date allows you the best opportunity to be considered for the most aid types possible. USF Priority Deadline is January 1.

    Watch a video on "The 7 easy steps to the FAFSA" by clicking here.

    FAFSA Scams
    The FAFSA is free - there is no charge to apply for financial aid. Beware of sites advertising services to help you apply for financial aid for a fee. If you use one of these services, you will be providing personal information to a non-government agency.

  4. Student Aid Report (SAR): You will receive a Student Aid Report(U.S. Mail or E-mail, depending on the method you used to submit your FAFSA) in approximately 1 to 3 days after you have completed the FAFSA. The Student Aid Report is the final output document generated by your submission of the FAFSA indicating your Student Aid Index (SAI). Review the Student Aid Report to ensure all data is correct. If corrections are necessary, please follow the instructions that are provided with the Student Aid Report. Effective 24/25.

  5. Financial Aid Award Notice: Once your FAFSA has been received, and the USF Health Office of Financial Aid has determined financial aid eligibility, you will be notified through OASIS that your Financial Aid Award Notice is ready for your review and action. You will be able to accept some or all of the awards in this notice. The requirements further outlined below will also be forwarded to you as the necessary steps needed in order to receive your student aid. Award notification will only be sent to the email address listed in OASIS, please ensure that your email address is your official USF Health email. These notifications are an essential part of the financial aid process. Failure to read these important emails will delay or cancel your financial aid award.

  6. Master Promissory Notes(MPN): Please visit the U.S. Department of Education's website here, create an account and successfully complete all necessary master promissory notes/applications. Students must complete one master promissory note when applying for the Unsubsidized Loans and one master promissory note when applying for the Graduate/Professional PLUS loans. No loan will be processed without a completed master promissory note on file with the U.S. Department of Education. A Master Promissory Note is good for 10 years.

  7. Online Entrance Counseling: In addition to completing the Master Promissory Note, you must complete the Federal Direct Entrance Counseling for both Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS loans. This can be found at here, and must be completed successfully to receive these loans in addition to the Master Promissory Note(s).

  8. Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan: This is a credit-based loan. Once you have successfully completed an online application and master promissory note for the Graduate PLUS loan here, the financial aid office will be notified.


The federal financial aid programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services and the University of South Florida are subject to a process called verification. A percentage of the FAFSA's processed at USF will be selected for verification. If your application is selected, there will be a note under "My Requirements" and instructions for completing this process. The verification process must be completed within 30 days of notification. Loan and/or scholarship funds will not be disbursed until verification is completed.

The FAFSA, Master Promissory Note(s), Entrance Counseling(s) and verification (if required) must be completed in order to obtain Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans, and Graduate PLUS loans (Grad PLUS).