Applying for Aid

Step 1: Complete Federal tax return as soon as possible after January 1.

We recommend that you file your federal tax return(s) as soon as possible, so you can take advantage of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA. Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will help you complete your FAFSA faster and more accurately! It is available for those who submit a FAFSA online, and will allow you to pull parent (where applicable) and student (where applicable) tax-filing information directly from the IRS onto your FAFSA. Note: If you are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will still find the FAFSA much easier to complete with complete federal tax return data.

Step 2:  Create a FSA ID from the Department of Education.

All students completing a FAFSA need to apply for a FSA ID. If the student is a dependent student, the parent must also apply for a separate FSA ID. The FSA ID is used to sign the FAFSA electronically each year. It is also used to electronically sign Master Promissory Notes (MPN), review and correct information on the student’s Student Aid Report (SAR), print a copy of the SAR, reapply for student aid every year, and view information about federal loans and grants you have received. Please be mindful that students cannot create a FSA ID for parents and parents cannot create one for their students. Please visit the following website for more details about the new FSA ID-

Step 3: SUBMIT the FAFSA by March 1 (School code 2972).

All students who wish to be considered for federal aid, state and institutional need-based financial aid must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA should be completed online as soon as possible after January 1 for the upcoming academic year. NC State’s priority filing date for submitting this form to the federal student aid processing center is MARCH 1. Students who submit FAFSAs by the priority filing date are given first consideration for all need-based scholarship and grant assistance awarded by the university. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a free application at We recommend you avoid paid filing organizations and service sites such as

Step 4: Check your email for FAFSA results and errors.

Within approximately four weeks of completing the FAFSA, you should receive a SAR (Student Aid Report) indicating that your FAFSA has been processed and sent to the institutions you designated. If you provided an email address, you will receive an email notification with instructions for viewing and printing your SAR. If you did not provide a valid email address, a paper SAR will be mailed to you. Check the SAR for accuracy, and make sure that NC State is listed as a recipient of your information. If NC State is listed as a recipient of your data, that information should be transmitted electronically to the institution for review.

Step 5: Go to your MyPack Portal and grant Parent access to your NCSU account information.

We strongly encourage dependent students to authorize the release of your financial aid information. We cannot release or discuss a student’s financial aid information to anyone other than the student and individuals they have authorized to have access (including the student’s parent or guardian).

Step 6: Check your MyPack Portal to confirm the school has received your FAFSA.

Within approximately 2 weeks of receiving your FAFSA results, check your MyPack Portal to confirm the school has received your FAFSA. While you are not required to provide a Social Security Number when applying to the University, you are required to do so if you wish to apply for financial aid. We must use your SSN to match your FAFSA to your records at the University. If you did not provide your SSN on your original application for admission or your SSN is incorrect, you will need to contact Undergraduate Admissions (for entering undergraduates), the Graduate School (for entering grad students) or Registration & Records (for continuing students) to update your record.

Step 7: Submit any additional requested documentation requested promptly. We strongly recommend response within 14 days, but no later than June 1. Failure to do so could result in delays, reductions, and cancelation of aid and/or class schedule!

Frequently visit MyPack Portal to determine if any additional documentation is requested. Respond promptly (we strongly recommend response within 14 days, but no later than June 1 for priority applicants) to these requests to assure timely processing of your application. Failure to do so could result in delays, reductions, and/or cancelations of financial aid and/or class schedules.

Step 8: Submit the Scholarship Notification E-Form if you will receive an outside scholarship.

If you expect to receive any outside assistance, you must report that aid to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid immediately. Outside scholarships should be reported to our office using the Scholarship Notification E-Form. Please visit MyPack Portal and select the Awards tab to submit scholarship information.

Step 9: Go to the Scholarship information page to learn about scholarship opportunities.

Go to the scholarship information page and learn about scholarship opportunities within NC State University and external of NC State University. Search early and pay close attention to deadlines.

Step 10: Immerse yourself in financial literacy!

Careful financial planning is important. Immerse yourself in financial literacy and gain a good sense of budgeting and managing personal finance. Student loans, credit cards, and personal loans can add up to significant debt levels by the time graduation finally appears. Learn how to manage spending, minimize debt, and make good financial choices. Do your homework, and research any financial decisions first.