Applying for the 2016-17 Academic Year

  1. If new to VCU, apply for admission to a degree/certificate program. Students do not need to receive an admissions decision before applying for financial aid.
  2. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year. The FAFSA is available on the web at This web application automatically prompts applicants to enter all required fields and questions any discrepant data. Renewal applicants may access their Renewal FAFSA at this site using their FSA ID.
  3. Review the Student Aid Report (SAR) or electronic SAR Acknowledgement. Students will receive the SAR after filing the FAFSA. Students should make any necessary corrections but should not send the SAR to the processor or make corrections online. Instead, students should submit corrections to the VCU Office of Financial Aid for electronic transmittal. If all of the information is accurate and VCU is listed as a school to receive the FAFSA results, students should keep the SAR for their records. *Please note that VCU students should ignore the verification notice on the SAR if selected for verification.
  4. Respond promptly to financial aid or any other inquiries from VCU. The VCU Office of Financial Aid will notify students if additional information is needed to complete processing of their financial aid application. Therefore, it is imperative that students check their VCU email account regularly. It is also the responsibility of students to maintain current addresses and telephone numbers with VCU.
  5. Receive Financial Aid Award Notification (FAAN) from VCU. First-time freshmen who have filed their FAFSA by the priority filing dates and responded promptly to requests for information should receive their FAAN in April. Other students filing by these dates should receive their FAAN in June. Applications submitted after these dates will be processed in the order in which they are received.
  6. To avoid financial aid disbursement delays, submit required paperwork. First-time Federal Direct Loan borrowers are required to complete an Entrance Counseling and session and sign an electronic Master Promissory Note at Loan funds will not disburse until these two steps are completed. Students should submit a Change Form if they wish to reduce or decline aid offered or if they need to report changes to the eligibility factors listed in the FAAN. Financial aid not listed on the FAAN, including scholarships awarded by other VCU departments, may require a recalculation of financial aid eligibility, as well as students graduating at the end of the Fall semester.
  7. Changes in enrollment status.Enrollment changes such as dropping a class or withdrawal can affect your financial aid. If you were awarded based on full-time enrollment (12 credits undergraduate, 9 credits graduate) and you reduce your hours to part-time your aid may be reduced.
  8. Sign up for direct deposit. A student’s financial aid is credited to his/her VCU student account. Once all university charges have been deducted, any excess financial aid will be paid through a refund. Direct deposit makes these funds available more quickly by electronically depositing the refund to a personal bank account. Applications are available on the VCU Disbursements Operations website (
  9. Register for classes. New undergraduates will register for classes when they attend an Orientation program (First Year Student Services will send information to students). Continuing students may register for classes via the web. All other students should contact their advisor/academic department about registration.
  10. Students eligible for veterans benefits should contact Veterans Certification in the Office of Records and Registration at (804) 828-6166.
  11. Receive VCU bill in early August (if registered). Bills are payable one semester at a time. Students will receive a bill if their financial aid does not cover their university charges. Students receiving bills should subtract aid that appears on the bill and pay the difference, or sign up for the VCU Installment Payment Plan.