How to Apply for Financial Aid & Scholarships

How to Apply for Financial Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA, is the application for financial aid. It should be completed each year as soon as possible after October 1 at FAFSA.gov. The FAFSA is the only application required by Castleton University.

Create an FSA ID

Students, parents, and borrowers are required to use an FSA ID, made up of a username and password, to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information and electronically signing your federal student aid documents. We recommend you and your parent (if dependent) create your FSA ID before completing the FAFSA as it cuts down on errors and delays if you start your FAFSA form by providing your FSA ID on FAFSA.gov.

You can create an FSA ID at FAFSA.gov or directly at the FSA website

Complete the FAFSA

The FAFSA should be submitted as soon as possible after October 1. Financial aid is awarded on a first come, first-serve basis. Therefore, you are encouraged to apply as early as possible. We consider anyone who applies by April 1 to be an on-time applicant. Complete the FAFSA at FAFSA.gov. Be sure to enter Castleton’s school code 003683 on your application.

Review Your Student Aid Report (SAR)

Once your application is processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the federal processor. It is very important to review this report for accuracy, as your financial aid eligibility will be determined based on this information.

When will I receive notification of my financial aid eligibility?

Once you have been accepted for admission to Castleton and the Financial Aid Office has received your processed FAFSA, your financial aid eligibility will be determined. An email notification will be sent to your email address per our database advising you to view your award via the Portal/VSC Web Services. Your award may be actual or estimated. Please view Financial Aid Document Status via the Portal/VSC Web Services to see what other documentation we may need to finalize your award. Submit additional documentation as soon as possible.

Castleton begins awarding newly accepted students mid-late November and mid-February for returning students.

How Financial Aid Eligibility is Determined

Your Student Cost of Attendance (Budget)

First, we determine your cost of attendance (budget) at Castleton. The cost of attendance includes tuition, mandatory fees, room and board (if on campus) and a standard allowance for books/supplies, personal expenses, and transportation. We use the cost of a double room and the 21-meal plan for all students who indicated on their FAFSA that they will be living on-campus. Students living at home have a lower allowance for room and board. Students living off-campus have a slightly higher budget to allow for additional costs of living on their own. For more information, review the Cost of Attending & Funding Option under located on the Tuition & Fees page.

Second, we determine your eligibility based on the information provided on the FAFSA and by following the federal guidelines for the funds available. We use the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is determined by a standard formula called the Federal Methodology (FM). The Federal Methodology takes into account your and your parents’ income and assets, federal taxes paid, family size, the number in college and allows for living expenses, taxes, etc. The EFC is not the amount of money your family must provide. Rather, you should think of the EFC as an index used to determine how much federal financial aid you qualify for.

Your Financial Need

Financial need is the difference between your student cost of attendance/budget and your expected family contribution. This is what we use to determine the amount of financial aid eligibility. Even though we have limited funds in some of our aid programs, we will make every effort to provide you with a fair and equitable financial aid award. The formula looks like this:  Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

Other factors regarding financial aid eligibility

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • You must be enrolled in a degree or certificate program at Castleton.
  • You must not be in default on any federal student loans or owe a refund previously awarded financial aid.
  • You must be enrolled for at least 6 credit hours (3 credit hours for Pell Grant eligibility only).
  • You must be making satisfactory academic progress.
  • You must be registered with Selective Service (if required).
  • All financial aid files must be complete and loans originated or certified by the financial aid deadline.