FAFSA and federal Student aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is an application for federal student aid. You need to complete the FAFSA form to apply for federal student aid such as federal grants, work-study funds, and loans. Completing and submitting the FAFSA form is free and easier than ever, and it gives you access to federal student aid — the largest source of aid — to help you pay for college.

In addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for state and school aid. Some private scholarship donors may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their scholarships.

Scam Alert:

Scholarship & Financial Aid Scams

Some “free money” offers are too good to be true.

Students maybe be targeted by many organizations selling their products and services, including organizations that sell scholarship searches.

We recommend students and parents be very cautious in paying for scholarship searches. While there are some legitimate organizations that do have application fees or charge a fee for searches, there are far more organizations that take advantage of students and parents’ inexperience in applying for financial aid.  Data shows that families lose significant amounts of money to fraud every year.

The College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act enhances the protection against fraud in student financial assistance. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions students to look for these common phrases organizations will use to lure students and parents in.

  • The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.
  • You can’t get the information anywhere else.
  • I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship.
  • We’ll do all of the work.
  • The scholarship will cost some money.
  • You’ve been selected by a national foundation to receive a scholarship.

Students or families who think they have been scammed or suspect fraud are asked to contact FTC at 877-382-4357 or visit their website: www.ftc.gov

Types of Financial Aid

Federal Grants

Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need as determined by the FAFSA application and have not yet earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is awarded to undergraduate students who have exceptional financial needs and who have not yet earned a bachelors degree, graduate or professional degree. Federal pell grant recipients receive priority.  FSEOG funds are limited and not all eligible students will receive funding.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH)

  • For graduate students who are enrolled in programs designed to prepare them to teach in an in-demand field at the elementary/secondary school level, you must agree to serve for a minimum of four years (within eight years of completing or ceasing enrollment in the program for which the student received the grant funds) as a full-time teacher in a school or educational service agency that serves low-income students.
  • Students must attend a participating school and meet certain academic requirements.
  • Failure to complete the teaching service commitment will result in the grant being converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that must be repaid.

Federal Direct Loans

You are automatically considered for Direct Loans offered through the U.S. Department of Education when you apply for financial aid by completing the FAFSA (FREE Application for Federal Student Aid). Loans are aid that will need to be repaid, with interest, after you graduate or leave college.

If you are an eligible undergraduate or graduate student and awarded a Subsidized Direct Loan or an Unsubsidized Direct Loan (graduate students are only eligible for unsubsidized direct loans), it will appear on your financial aid award letter. Students must accept student loans and complete loan requirements prior to receiving the loan.

Differences Between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are offered to undergraduate students with financial need. They have a low fixed interest rate and do not accrue interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time in a degree program. Students do not make payments until six months after graduating or drop below half-time. Direct Subsidized Loans are available only to undergraduate borrowers.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students with or without financial need. These loans accrue interest while the student is in school and during deferments and grace periods. Students may defer interest payments until after they graduate, but doing so will result in a higher loan payment over the life of the loan.

These loans have origination fees, so the amounts applied to your university student account are less than amounts listed on your Financial Aid Award Letter fees are adjusted each fall due to federal sequestration legislation. Interest rates on these loans change each June with changes becoming effective on July 1.

Additional Eligibility Requirements for Direct Student Loans

  • Undergraduate students must be enrolled in a degree seeking program and be enrolled in at least half-time hours (6 credit hours).
  • Graduate students must be enrolled in an eligible degree seeking program or an eligible graduate certificate program and be enrolled in at least half-time hours (3 credit hours).
  • Students in default of student loans are not eligible to receive additional student loans.

Required Loan Requirements

Entrance Counseling:

If you are a first-time Direct Loan borrower, you must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling on the U.S. Department of Education’s studentaid.gov website. This interactive counseling session and quiz helps students develop budgets for managing educational expenses and also understand their loan responsibilities. You must complete the counseling before your loan funds can be disbursed to you.  https://studentaid.gov/entrance-counseling/

Master Promissory Note:

If you have a Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized Loan or a Parent Plus Loan, you will be required to complete and sign a Master Promissory Note (or MPN). The Master Promissory Note authorizes Park University to credit the loan funds to your Park U student account.  MPNs are generally good for 10 years, so most students do not need to complete them more than once during their time at Park U.  If you sign a Master Promissory Note and do not want loans in future years, you must decline the loan the following year on your award letter. If you accept loans it will be disbursed to your Park U student account.


Exit Counseling:

This is required for Direct Loan student borrowers who are graduating or dropping below half-time enrollment. This counseling session helps borrowers understand their rights and responsibilities in repayment and helps them choose a repayment plan. You must use your Department of Education FSA ID to access this counseling session.


Receiving your Loan Funds:

You must have signed all of your loan documents and be enrolled at least half-time to receive your loan funds. You will automatically receive your accepted student loan funds each term after participation in your courses have been verified. If you do not want a student loan, decline them on your award offer.

Parent Loans

Parent loans can help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.

To learn more about parent loans and eligibility requirements, visit Direct PLUS Loans offered by the U.S. Department of Education.


Scholarships are a separate application process. Your FA specialist will integrate any scholarships into your financial aid package.

Please see Scholarships for information regarding Park University scholarships, endowed and external scholarships.

Student Employment

Please see Student Employment for information regarding the Park University Student Worker Program and the Federal Work-Study Program.

Student Financial Aid

Apply for student aid, manage your aid, and find out what you need to know about financial aid.

Apply for Aid – FAFSA Application

2024-25 FAFSA Year

Preparing for the 2024-25 FAFSA Year

Although the FAFSA is available now, expect delays in receiving your award letter for 2024-25.

  • The Department of Education has announced they will not be ready to transmit FAFSA data to schools until the first part of March.
  • Schools will need time to test software systems prior to sending out award letters.
  • Your FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS) can be provided to us for an early estimate. Estimates are subject to change as new information becomes available to us.
  • The FAFSA deadline for Missouri Grant has been moved to April 1, 2024. If the FSS displays a Student Aid Index (SAI) number 12,000 or less, the student will quality for Missouri Grant if all other eligibility requirements are met.
  • Set up your account by creating your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID, each of your contributors will need their own account and FSA ID, it is very important to have the accounts set up prior to beginning.

Create Your FSA Account

Create your FSA Account at:

Complete the FAFSA

Complete the 2024-25 FAFSA at:

What is Changing with the 2024-25 FAFSA

New Terminology for 2024-25:

  • Student Aid Index (SAI): Calculated by FAFSA and will be used by schools to determine how much federal aid the student is eligible for.
  • Contributor: The term used for any individual supplying information on the FAFSA: the student, parent, step-parent, spouse are all examples of contributors.
  • Consent: Required from all contributors in order for the IRS to share tax information directly to FAFSA. If any contributor is unwilling to consent, the student will automatically be ineligible for aid.
  • Direct Data Exchange (DDX): Previously called the Data Retrieval Tool, the DDX allows for the exchange of all contributors.
  • FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS): Previously called the Student Aid Report (SAR).

The FAFSA will reduce the maximum number of questions from 108 to 46. And because the FAFSA on the Web is dynamic, some students won’t even be presented with all 46 questions. This streamlined format will simplify the application process and make it less daunting for students and their families.

In prior FAFSA filing years, the IRS tax information could be manually input or students and parents could opt to transfer their information, using the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). Beginning in 2024-25, the FAFSA application requires students and parents to authorize the Direct Data Exchange (DDX) between FAFSA and the IRS to transfer the tax information or confirmation of non-filing status to the FAFSA. The DDX will make it easier for students, parents and/or spouses to transfer data, whereas they may not have been able to use the DRT. If the student or a contributor fails to authorize the DDX, the student will not be eligible for Title IV.

A Contributor—a new term being introduced on the 2024-25 FAFSA—refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s form (such as a parent/stepparent or spouse). A student’s or parent’s answers on the FAFSA will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information.

Contributors will receive an email informing them that they’ve been identified as such, and will need to log in using their own FSA ID to provide the required information on the student’s FAFSA. New Contributors will need to create an FSA ID.

Being a contributor does not mean they are financially responsible for the student’s education costs, but it does mean the contributor must provide information on the FAFSA or the application will be incomplete and the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.

A notable terminology update within the new FAFSA is the replacement of the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with the Student Aid Index (SAI). This name more accurately describes the number used to determine aid eligibility and, unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number down to -1500.

Previously, the FAFSA calculated the number of household members attending college into the EFC, dividing it proportionately to determine federal aid eligibility. Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA, the application will still ask how many household members are in college, but your answer will not be calculated into the SAI. As such, undergraduate students with siblings or spouse in college may see a change in their federal aid eligibility.

  1. Maximum Pell Grant awards to students who qualify based on family size, adjusted gross income (AGI) and poverty guidelines.
  2. Students who do not qualify for Maximum Pell Grant may still qualify if their calculated SAI number is less than the maximum Pell Grant award for the award year.
  3. Minimum Pell Grant – some students may still qualify for a Pell Grant award with a SAI greater than the maximum Pell Grant award based on family size, AGI and the poverty guidelines.

If the student did not live with one parent more than the other, the parent who provided the student with the most financial support during the past twelve months should be the contributor on the FAFSA. This is probably the parent who claimed the student as their dependent on the tax return.

The dependency questions have not changed on the FAFSA. If the student cannot answer yes to one of the dependency questions on the FAFSA, parent information is required. New for 2024-25, if a student believes they have a special condition or unusual circumstance regarding their family dynamics and wants to file a Dependency Override Appeal, the student will be able to submit their FAFSA without a parent contributor. The school will reach out to the student and provide instructions on the appeal process. In the event the appeal cannot be approved, the student will be notified that parent information is required.

Prior to 2024-25, family farms and businesses with under 100 employees were exempt from reporting their farm or business assets on the FAFSA. Beginning in 2024-25, families must now report the value of their small business or family farm. If the family farm includes the principal place of residence, applicants should determine the total net value of all farm assets and subtract the net value of their principal residence to determine the final value of their farm assets.

2023-24 FAFSA Year

  • Complete the 2023-24 FAFSA if your attendance is between July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024.
  • Complete the FAFSA for 2023-24 by clicking below, and be sure to enter our school code below.

Park’s FAFSA code:  002498

Apply for Financial Aid

Renewing Your Financial Aid

Continuing students must reapply for financial aid each year by completing a new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Each fall and spring term you will receive reminder emails from us that it is time to renew your FAFSA application.

Find out more:

Renewing Your Financial Aid

Park University

FAFSA Code: 002498

Federal Student Aid  |  studentaid.gov

Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Park University is a private, non-profit, institution of higher learning since 1875.