Successful Financial Aid Experience

12 Steps to a Successful Financial Aid Experience

1 File your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online at The deadline for applying for the fall semester is May 1 and the spring semester is November 1.

2 Adhere to all financial aid & university deadlines. Review and use the Financial Aid checklist to ensure that you have completed the Financial Aid process.

3 Be on the lookout for your Student Aid Report (SAR). The U.S. Department of Education emails this to you after your FAFSA has been evaluated and analyzed. Review the SAR as soon as you receive it. Read everything on the first page. If corrections are required, submit the corrections to the federal processor as soon as possible. If you have been admitted into a degree program, you may receive your financial aid tentative eligibility notification or a missing information request approximately one week after SCSU receives your record electronically from the US Department of Education.

4 When you completed the FAFSA, you indicated school codes for each institution to which you wanted your data sent. Each institution receives an electronic version of your SAR. If you are awaiting an admission decision, you will receive your notice letter approximately two (2) weeks after you have been officially admitted into a degree program.

5 Submit copies of all documents requested at your earliest convenience. Income tax returns with signatures, w-2’s, document’s related to marital status and child support arrangements, military Leave and Earnings Statements, proof of citizenship documents, and Social Security documents are the more frequently required documents. Submit copies of all documents by June 15 in order for aid to be disbursed by the fall tuition deadline.

6 Log-on to Bulldog Connection, review and submit any outstanding requirements. Review the notice and accept or decline the aid. If you wish to make changes to your awards offer, after you have accepted or declined your awards, please send an e-mail to Subject line “award adjustment” or “cancellation.” In the body of your email include your student ID. Please note your email must be sent from your SC State account. If email is unavailable, print your award letter from Bulldog Connection, make the desired changes and send the updated letter to our office with your signature. What’s a tentative award notice? This is an estimate of the financial assistance for which you may be eligible at SC State University. The estimate is based on many factors, including your college grade level, your being enrolled full-time both semesters and the results of the FAFSA analysis. Adjustments may be required if corrections are made to the information on your FAFSA, if you will be enrolled at a different level than anticipated or if you receive other aid. Accept terms and conditions and complete the Direct Loan entrance requirement and Master Promissory note if needed.

7 Log-on to Bulldog Connection and review your account detail in advance of fee payment dates to determine if the aid awarded is sufficient to cover your balance. If you have not been awarded financial aid by the tuition deadline, it is your responsibility to make payment arrangements with the Treasurer’s Office. If the aid awarded for the semester is less than the amount you owe, you must pay the difference before the “tuition deadline” date. If you don’t have enough money to pay the difference by the “tuition deadline, the University offers a Tuition Payment Plan administered by Sallie Mae, for which you may apply each semester. Details are available online at; contact Sallie Mae at (800) 635-0120 to speak with a TuitionPay Consultant or by calling the Office of Accounts Receivable at (803)536-8077 or (803)536-8991. Arrangements for the payment plan should be made prior to the tuition payment deadline. If additional financial aid is needed, review any messages you have in the financial aid section of the Bulldog Connection to determine if your parents could be considered for a parent loan.