Student Financial Services

FAFSA Process and Deadline

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) has a new process, making it easier for families to complete the application sooner. Now you can complete your FAFSA for the upcoming 2019–2020 school year using tax returns from 2017.

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Please read the FAQs to understand the importance of FAFSA.


Why must I complete the FAFSA?
You must complete the FAFSA in order to be considered for need-based financial aid.

What is the new process for FAFSA?
Applicants can now complete their FAFSA as early as October 2018. For the upcoming 2019–2020 school year, this means you will use tax returns from 2017. Also, the deadline for submitting your FAFSA has changed.

How do I apply for financial aid at USM?
Applying for financial aid at USM begins by submitting the FAFSA. This U.S. Department of Education application can be found at You, and a parent if you are a dependent student, will apply for a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) so that you will be able to sign the FAFSA electronically. You will also need USM’s federal school code which is: 009762.

By when should I complete and submit my FAFSA?
Ideally, you should complete your FAFSA as soon as possible before the actual deadline. The FAFSA takes approximately 1 week to process (but it could take longer) before being submitted to the university. The sooner you submit your FAFSA, greater your opportunity for a robust financial aid package and the sooner you will be notified.

What is the actual deadline for submitting my FAFSA?
For the 2019–2020 school year, the Federal Processor must receive your completed FAFSA data by January 15 to reach USM by our February 1 priority deadline. Again, we strongly encourage you to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible to take advantage of available funding. As the financial aid cycle continues, the amount of funds available can become limited. Submitting early will also allow more time to address any potential questions or issues that may come up as part of the submission review.