Financial Aid Application Process

Applying for Financial Aid can make you wish you were an octopus unless you’re armed with the right information. Click the topics below for all the important details.

Still have questions? Beacon staff are always available to discuss your specific concerns. Just call us at 855-220-5374 or email us.


  1. Create Federal Student Financial Aid ID (FSAID)

    FSAID Graphic

    • Electronic signature/ID
    • Required to file financial aid applications
    • Parents of dependent students need one, too
    • 2-3 days to receive electronically

    Apply for FSAID

  2. Fill out Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    FAFSA Graphic

    • Mandatory federal financial aid form
    • Gives permission to IRS to release tax info
    • Can save and come back (doesn’t need to be completed all at once)
    • May take several hours to complete
    • Typically submitted in October of senior year of HS
    • Usually filed at same time as college applications
    • Beacon College’s FAFSA code is 033733

    Fill in FAFSA

  3. Receive Student Aid Report (SAR)

    SAR Graphic

    • Analysis of family resources according to federal formula
    • Provides estimate of expected family contribution
    • Reports eligibility for federal aid, including Pell Grants and federal loans
    • Students and parents may review and submit changes to FAFSA info
    • Typically received electronically within one week of filing FAFSA

    Update Your SAR

  4. Accept admissions offer

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    • Beacon (or other college) sends letter of admission
    • Student must accept offer in order to receive financial aid package
    • Beacon processes applications within 2-6 weeks of receipt

    Review Accepted Student Info

  5. Apply for non-federal aid

    Other Aid graphic

    • Many types of aid require separate applications
    • These include: state grants, private scholarships, vocational rehab, veterans’ benefits
    • Deadlines vary, but are typically between November and March of the senior year of HS

    Review Financial Aid Options

  6. Provide verification

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    • US Dept of Education selects some FAFSAs for verification
    • Requires additional info, documentation (W-2s, tax transcripts, worksheets, etc.)
    • College financial aid staff will walk students and families through process
    • Can take a couple of weeks to clear up, receive new SAR
  7. Receive Beacon financial aid package
    • Financial aid staff reviews SAR
    • Takes into account any external grant/scholarship funds student is eligible for
    • Determines amount of scholarship/grant aid Beacon will provide
    • Considers loans only at end of process
  8. Maintain good standing
    • Students must maintain good academic standing to continue receiving financial aid
    • Evaluated on a semester-by-semester basis