How to Apply

Completing the FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the federal application that will allow GCSU's Financial Aid Office to review you for any federal grants, loans, work-study programs, and even state scholarships such as the HOPE/Zell Miller. Some federal and state aid programs have limited funding and students with complete applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.  If you are only interested in the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarships, you can complete the GSFAPPS at The FAFSA must be completed each year and can be accessed online at

When completing the FAFSA, be sure to list Georgia College & State University in the school section of the application using our Federal School Code of 001602. This will allow us to receive an electronic copy of the application. Students and parents will electronically sign the FAFSA using a unique FSA ID that is issued to them through the Department of Education.  To request an ID or access your ID, please visit the FSA ID website.  Both the student and parent contributor will have to request their own unique ID to be used each year to complete the FAFSA.  

Once we have received your FAFSA, we will notify you if additional information is needed. Once you have been admitted and your financial application is complete with our office, you will be reviewed for financial aid and notified of all eligible awards and offers.

While most deadlines are “soft” deadlines, below is a list of dates that correspond to aid processing in our office. Students must submit complete financial aid applications by these dates in order to use financial aid funds to pay for the semester's bill. Students whose files are not complete by this date should be prepared to pay costs until applications are processed and eligibility is determined.

  • July 1 – Fall semester “soft” deadline for completion of all financial aid forms.  Files completed after this date will be processed as time permits, and students will be reimbursed any funds awarded.
  • November 1 – Spring semester “soft” deadline for completion of all financial aid forms.  Files completed after this date will be processed as time permits, and students will be reimbursed any funds awarded.
  • April 1 – Summer semester “soft” deadline for completion of all financial aid forms.  Files completed after this date will be processed as time permits, and students will be reimbursed any funds awarded.

Students must submit complete financial aid applications to be considered for aid.  Please note that this is not a guarantee of funds availability but rather a timeframe based on previous history.  

What’s new with the 2024–25 FAFSA?

We want to keep you informed about changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2024–25 academic year. These changes, brought about by the federal FAFSA Simplification Act, are designed to make the financial aid process easier for your family and to better determine aid eligibility.

Note that the following information is subject to change. As we await further guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, your adviser will be here to support you.

Here's what you need to know:

FAFSA availability and timeline

The 2024–25 FAFSA is now available for students and families to complete. GCSUs Financial Aid Office expects to start receiving FAFSA by the first of April 2024. This delay in receiving the 2024-2025 FAFSA is requiring that we emphasize the importance of our July 1, 2024 deadline to receive these applications.

Vocabulary changes

The FAFSA will introduce new terminology:

  • Student Aid Index (SAI): Replaces the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and measures your ability to pay for college.
  • FAFSA Submission Summary: Replaces the Student Aid Report (SAR) and summarizes your submitted FAFSA via email.
  • Federal Tax Information (FTI): Describes financial data from the IRS.
  • Direct Data Exchange (DDX): Replaces the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) as the method for FTI retrieval.

FAFSA form changes

When you complete the FAFSA, you will notice that it is significantly shorter. In addition to the application being shorter, many questions have been reworded for additional clarity. Please read carefully before answering each question.  The FAFSA form can now be started by either the student or the parent.

Who is included on the FAFSA?

Who is my parent?

For dependent students, the FAFSA will use the following explanation to help you understand which parent’s information you will need to include on the FAFSA.

  • Are parents married to each other? If yes, list both.
  • Are parents unmarried and living together? If yes, list both.
  • If none of the above apply, did one parent provide more financial support than the other over the last 12 months? If yes, list that parent.

o    If this parent is remarried, the stepparent’s information should also be included on the FAFSA.

  • If one parent did not provide more financial support, the student should list the parent with the greater income or assets.


Contributors are individuals who will need to provide Federal Tax Information(FTI) on the FAFSA. All contributors to the FAFSA will be required to have an FSA ID to log in to the FAFSA form. This includes non-citizen parents.

Dependent student form contributors:

  • Student
  • Biological or adoptive parent(s)

Independent student form contributors:

  • Student
  • Student’s spouse, if married and filed taxes separately

Financial data transfer

All contributors must consent to FTI transfer for aid eligibility. Non-consent means the student is ineligible for Federal Student Aid. This consent does not imply financial responsibility to pay for college by any party.

New eligibility calculation

To expand Pell Grant access, the FAFSA will use new eligibility calculations, including the Student Aid Index, which can go as low as -1,500. Current students may see changes in Pell eligibility.

Siblings in college

Beginning with academic year 2024–25, the number of children in college no longer impacts the Student Aid Index, potentially affecting aid eligibility for some families.

Family farms and small businesses

  • Farm net worth now includes family farms but excludes primary residences. It comprises land, buildings, livestock, crops, and machinery.
  • The net worth of all businesses must be reported, regardless of size or employee count.
Completing the GSFAPPS

The GSFAPPS is the alternative application for students to apply for the HOPE and/or Zell Miller scholarships only.  It is completed via Georgia Student Finance Commission's website at You must create an account on this website to be able to access the application.  If you cannot access the application online or would prefer a paper application,  you can obtain a copy below. Please be advised the paper application must be mailed directly to Georgia Student Finance Commission.

Paper GSFAPPS (pdf)

This application is only valid for the HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships and is not used for any consideration of federal aid programs.  If you are interested in any federal aid programs then you must complete the FAFSA at Completing the GSFAPPS in addition to the FASFA, allows our office the ability to award and review students for the HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarships in a more timely manner. 

The GSFAPPS is valid for seven (7) years, so unlike the FAFSA, it does not have to be renewed every year.  If you complete a GSFAPPS for HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship, the Georgia College Office of Financial Aid will use this application from year to year to evaluate your eligibility for the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship programs.  A student may complete both the GSFAPPS and the FAFSA to be considered for all financial aid.


The deadline to be reviewed for Georgia’s HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarships is the last day of class for the semester the student is seeking payment from these funds.  Students who think they may be eligible for either HOPE or Zell Miller MUST email the Financial Aid Office PRIOR to the last day of the semester they are seeking potential payment from either of these scholarship programs.  Please be aware that the GCSU Financial Aid office makes every effort to identify possible candidates based on academic history but it is the student’s responsibility if they have not been awarded these funds to initiate a review of their eligibility prior to the end of the semester they are seeking payment.  This policy is necessary due to imposed state-mandated deadlines for universities to finalize reconciliation of all payments.

Completing the Dual Enrollment Funding Application

Dual Enrollment is a program funded by the State of Georgia to assist high school students in paying for college-credit coursework and is the replacement of programs such as Accel, HOPE Grant for Dual Enrollment, and the “former” MOWR programs.  Funding for Dual Enrollment covers only courses listed in the approved Dual Enrollment Course Directory which the student will receive dual credit for high school and college degree-level.  This directory includes courses in English, Math, Social Studies, Sciences, Foreign Languages, Fine Arts, Business, and Physical Education.  A student participating in Dual Enrollment is required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined by the Georgia College Financial Aid Office.  A copy of this policy will be emailed to all Dual Enrollment students shortly after classes begin.

Dual Enrollment Application Process

In order to apply for Dual Enrollment, students will need to sign into their GAfutures account and complete a Dual Enrollment Funding Application on-line at  (Note:  Prior to submitting your first application, you must create your “My GAfutures" account.)

The Dual Enrollment Funding Application must be completed EACH SEMESTER.  Students attending a home study program must complete the Dual Enrollment Funding Application (paper).  The Dual Enrollment Funding Application is only for Dual Enrollment funding/financial aid.  Students must apply for admission to Georgia College before completing the Dual Enrollment Funding Application.

Timeline and Deadline Information

  1. Student works with high school to determine courses needed.
  2. Student completes college advising and course registration with GCSU Dual Enrollment Advisor.
  3. Student completes a Dual Enrollment Funding Application (every semester).
  4. High School electronically certifies approved courses each semester.  Electronic application will be received by GCSU Financial Aid Office.
  5. GCSU Financial Aid awards Dual Enrollment funds and notifies GCSU Bookstore upon receiving application and verifying approved coursework.  Student will be notified via their GCSU email when completed.

Deadline to complete Dual Enrollment Funding Application Every Semester:

  • Students are encouraged to complete the Dual Enrollment Funding Application at least 4 weeks prior to classes beginning each semester.  This allows time for High School officials to certify and the GCSU Financial Aid Office to receive the certification, process Dual Enrollment funds to be credited to the student’s account and notify the GCSU Bookstore.
  • GSFC’s actual deadline requires that Georgia College MUST receive the student’s certified application from their high school no later than the 3rd day of class and any balance due must be paid by the 5th day of class by the student each semester.
  • Text books will not be administered until the student’s application is received by the GCSU Financial Aid Office.
  • Deadlines published by the GSFC are for Universities to adhere to in order to complete mandated reconciliation processes.

For More Details:

Dual Enrollment FAQ
Dual Enrollment on

Status of Financial Aid Application

The Georgia College Office of Financial Aid will contact newly admitted students via U.S. mail if verification documents are needed to complete the financial aid file.  Returning students will be sent an e-mail of needed documents, but we encourage you to follow the steps described below to check the status of your FAFSA application:

Check Status of Financial Aid

1.  Go to
2.  Enter Unify/PAWS login.
3.  Enroll in DUO Authentication if DUO Enroll has not previously been set up
4.  Select PAWS icon.
5.  Select” Financial Aid” tab.
6.  Select “Check Financial Aid Status.”
7.  Select the appropriate aid year.
8.  Review the status of your financial aid.

Students will receive an e-mail notification detailing how to check their Financial Aid awards once their complete file has been reviewed for aid.

View Your Financial Aid Offer

To view your online financial aid offer letter, please follow the steps described below:

1.  Go to
2.  Enter Unify/PAWS login.
3.  Enroll in DUO Authentication if DUO Enroll has not previously been set up
4.  Select PAWS icon.
5.  Select "Financial Aid" tab.       
6.  Enter the Bobcat DEN (Detailed Eligibility Notification).

View or Pay Your Bill Online

To view your bill, or pay your bill online, please follow the steps described below.

1.  Go to
2.  Enter Unify/PAWS login.
3.  Select PAWS icon.
4.  Select Student Account Center.
5.  Select Make a Payment.
6.  Select Pay option.
7.  Select Payment Method.

Students may check the status of the FAFSA online at FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid or by using the Department of Education's automated system (touch tone phone required) at 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) and selecting option #1. Students who do not wish to use the automated system or who have a rotary phone should call 319-337-5665.

 If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.