/ Financial Aid

FAFSA Helpful Hints

Basics of applying

  • To be considered for all need-based aid resources, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available at studentaid.gov
  • The priority deadline for filing a FAFSA is March 1 (prior to the start of the fall semester) of each year. Filing by this date assures you will be considered for the maximum financial aid eligibility and assures Michigan residents consideration for state funds.
  • The Office of Admissions awards Hope’s academic scholarships.

FAFSA Helpful Hints

  • Visit studentaid.gov to create a FSA ID for yourself and one for a parent/guardian. The FSA ID gives you access to the Federal Student Aid online systems and serves as your legal signature on your FAFSA application. (If you or your parent/guardian already have an FSA ID, do not create new ones.) Be careful to enter your name exactly as it appears on your Social Security Card.
  • Visit studentaid.gov
    • Select ‘‘Log In’’ if you filed a FAFSA for a previous year
    • Select ‘‘Create Account’’ if you’ve never filed the FAFSA before.
  • Enter your identifying information exactly how it appears on your Social Security Card, create a username and password, and then you can begin to complete the FAFSA. 
  • Use your 2021 Federal Income Tax Return information (or your 2020 tax information if completing the 2022-2023 FAFSA). Selecting the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will link your tax information from the IRS directly to your FAFSA. If you are eligible, a link to the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will become available while you are completing your FAFSA. When asked if you want to leave the FAFSA site and go to the IRS site, click “Yes.” Once completed, you will be directed back to the FAFSA site to complete the rest of your FAFSA. Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool eliminates the need for Hope College to collect your federal income tax return transcripts, prevents reporting errors and avoids processing delays.
  • In Step Six, list Hope College using our Federal School Code, 002273.


  • If you enter a valid email address on your FAFSA, you will receive electronic status messages regarding your StudentAid Report (SAR). If you did not provide a valid email address, your SAR will be mailed to you.
  • Carefully review the Student Aid Report (SAR). If corrections are necessary, return to the FAFSA site to make changes.
  • Promptly respond to all requests for additional information from the Hope College Office of Financial Aid. Requests will be mailed to your permanent address.
  • Financial Aid Package notices will be mailed to students who have completed the aid application process:
    • New students — beginning in early February
    • Returning students — beginning in late May