Skip to Main Content.

Tuition matters: how to apply for financial aid

by Monica Smith

Jun 17, 2022, 12:00 PM.

FIU students can submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application to see if they qualify for education funds, scholarships or grants.

The decision to attend college is a commitment that requires a measure of support from a range of areas. Aside from family, friends or work, you will need to consider the finances necessary to fund your education. 

Do the math. Review the cost for attending the school, per year and determine if you need financial aid, says Ralph Gutierrez, assistant director of student recruitment at FIU Online. Everyone qualifies for some form of federal financial aid, it just might not be all gifted funds like grants. But this is why everyone should apply and complete the FAFSA, it doesn’t affect them negatively in any way to know what type of federal financial aid they can qualify for.

The U.S. Department of Education's office of Federal Student Aid provides approximately $112 billion in financial aid to help pay for college or career school each year.

Gutierrez explains that even those who do not think they qualify for financial aid should apply because your application will be used to qualify you for scholarships and grants that are need-based versus some of these sources are merit based.

  FIU students should start submitting their FAFSA application as early as October 1 each year of the year prior to the year they want to start going to school and use the FIU School Code: 009635 .

You can work on it before the December 1 priority deadline and submit it early. Your submission will be for the next school year, advises Ralph Gutierrez. I simply tell students to apply as soon as they know they want to go to college.

For first-time applications, there are two ways to apply, says Gutierrez. Students can access the FAFSA forms via the FAFSA app, which can be downloaded from the app store on a mobile device, or they can simply go to .

Students must fill out their FAFSA form every year, says Gutierrez, who directs students to the Federal Student Aid YouTube channel for a tutorial video on how to fill out the FAFSA form .

For students who already have financial aid, if your situation has changed due to recent financial emergencies or other reasons, it may be time to resubmit your FAFSA form to qualify for additional aid. In this case, the Federal Student Aid website offers the following steps: 

  1. Complete the FAFSA questions as instructed (including using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, if eligible).
  2. Submit your FAFSA form.
  3. Contact the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend to discuss how your financial situation has changed and the steps to complete a Professional Judgment.

Financial aid offices can adjust your financial aid award to reflect your or your family’s current income. 

We’re here to help. Financial aid is there for those who qualify, so I encourage all students to reach out—we’re happy to help, summarizes Gutierrez.

 Have questions? Contact Financial Aid at (305) 348-3125 (press 3, then 1).

Want to share your story?

Submit it!

Quick Links

Information for...