703-753-2791 info@ascent.edu

We get it. Those dreaded questions no one wants to hear but everyone needs to answer. Are you applying for Federal Financial Aid (FFA)? Have you filled out your FAFSA? It’s our goal and promise to graduate students from Ascent College with as little debt as possible. We understand how scary the financial aspect of higher education can be to our students, who are juggling families, careers, and ministry leadership while navigating their academic path. It is our hope and prayer that every student has the opportunity to explore federal financial aid thoughtfully, in addition to a wide variety of scholarships we offer and accept alongside our exceptionally competitive tuition rates, to develop a plan that responsibly finances their education while also reducing future debt that may cultivate stress and overwhelm, especially as emerging ministry leaders hit the ground running into Kingdom service. 

In the case of federal financial aid, knowledge is power. Understanding the programs and systems and how to stay abreast of the opportunities to receive critical support can be key to peace of mind and responsible planning that achieves your academic goals and sets you up for success in the future. Read carefully below to get the 411 on all things federal financial aid, and be sure to reach out to our Registrar or your academic advisor if you have any questions. 

What is the FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form the U.S. Department of Education provides that determines a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid programs to help pay for college or career school. It’s a critical step for students seeking financial assistance to cover tuition, books, and other educational expenses.

The FAFSA collects detailed information about the student’s and, if applicable, their family’s financial situation, including income, assets, and household size. This information is used to calculate the Student Aid Index (SAI), which determines the student’s eligibility for various types of financial aid, such as grants and federal student loans. 

In this process, you can include the names of colleges you’re interested in attending.
Ascent College School Code 041538

We’ve included a list of steps to filing for federal financial aid at the bottom of this article to help you navigate your way. Take a look at everything you need to know about the upcoming school year.

Federal Financial Aid

Important Federal Financial Aid Deadlines for the 2024-2025 School Year 

1. FAFSA Opened December 31, 2023

The FAFSA application for the 2024-2025 academic year became available on December 31, 2023. This marks the starting point for students and their families to begin the financial aid application process. Completing the FAFSA early increases your chances of maximizing your financial aid package.

2. State Deadlines

While the federal deadline for FAFSA submission is typically later in the academic year, many states and colleges have their own deadlines that students must adhere to. These state-specific deadlines often fall earlier than the federal deadline, sometimes as early as February or March. Missing your state’s deadline could mean forfeiting potential financial aid opportunities, so checking and marking your state’s FAFSA deadline on your calendar is essential.

3. Priority Deadlines 

Ascent College encourages you to submit your FAFSA at least six (6) weeks before you start class.

4. Federal Deadline

The federal deadline for the 2024-2025 school year is typically June 30, 2025. However, submitting your FAFSA well before this date is essential to ensure that your financial aid is processed promptly and to allow for any necessary corrections or updates. It’s imperative this year because the Student Aid Index (SAI) is expected to be released later than usual due to recent changes in the FAFSA and the online filing process. 

5. Renewal Reminder

For returning college students who have previously filed a FAFSA, it’s important to remember to renew your application each year. The renewal process is typically more straightforward than the initial application and allows you to update any changes in your financial situation or academic status. The renewal deadline for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) typically coincides with the federal deadline for submission, which is June 30th of each year.

Remember, we are here to help you! Questions can always be directed to the Registrar or your academic advisor. You’re not alone in this process, and we are continually praying for you as God provides the resources needed to navigate His path for your life successfully. 

Federal Financial Aid

Steps for Federal Financial Aid 2024-2025 

Step 1  

Review the information provided by the U.S. Department of Education at www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov or by phone 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). This information is for applying for federal and state student grants, work-study, and loans.  

Step 2  

Get a Federal Student Aid PIN (a personal identification number). A PIN lets you apply, “sign” your online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), correct your application information, and more – so keep it safe. Go to www.pin.ed.gov.  If you are a dependent on someone else’s tax return or need to utilize their information, they will also need to get a Federal Student Aid PIN. If their tax information is required, they must consent to the IRS access on the FAFSA. This makes the process much easier and faster. If parental consent is not given, then the FAFSA may not be processed.

Step 3  

You will need to consent to the FAFSA accessing your IRS information. It makes the FAFSA faster and easier to fill out. You may need to collect your income tax returns, W-2 forms, and any other income records. A complete list of what you need is available at https://studentaid.gov/. If your tax return still needs to be completed when you apply, estimate the tax information and correct the information later.  

Step 4  

Complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA application for the Fall 2024 and the Spring 2025 semesters. The fastest and easiest way is to apply online at https://studentaid.gov/. If you don’t already have your PIN, you can get it when you complete the online FAFSA. (You will need the Ascent College School Code 041538 as you complete the application.)  

Step 5  

After completing and submitting your FAFSA, the Department of Education (ED) will review your application and provide a decision in about 3 to 5 business days. ED will prepare and send you your Student Aid Report (SAR), the result of your FAFSA. Review your SAR and, if necessary, make changes or corrections and submit your SAR for reprocessing. Your complete, correct SAR will contain your Student Aid Index (SAI) – the number used to determine your federal student aid eligibility. Remember, your Student Aid Index (SAI) may be released later than expected this year due to recent changes in the processing system, so don’t wait to file! 

Step 6

If you plan to take student loans (loans are required to be paid back after you leave school):

• Go to the URL: https://studentaid.gov/

• Click on Loans and Grants in the top banner (or use the Menu bar to access the Loans and Grants tab)

• Click on Complete Master Promissory Note for undergraduates 

• After you have completed the Promissory Note process, go back to the home page

• Click on the Loans and Grants tab again

• Click on Loan Entrance Counseling 

• Complete the counseling process 

Step 7 

One week after you have completed the FAFSA process, go to ascent.edu and click on the Student tab. On the dropdown menu, click on the MyAscent link and then click on the Campus Ivy Registration link. Complete the enrollment/registration process with Campus Ivy, our Federal Student Aid processor.  A two-step verification process will be added to accounts after May 1, 2024.

Step 8 

After you have completed this registration process for Campus Ivy, contact our Registrar, Ms. Sonji Thee, in Student Services to let her know so she can finalize your setup for Campus Ivy. 

Step 9 

After Ms. Thee has finalized your registration, she will email you to continue with the following:  

• Take a side-by-side picture of the front side of your driver’s license or state ID and your social security card, putting both on one page.  

• Log into Campus Ivy. Go to Document Tracking in Campus Ivy and follow the menu to upload this page under the Identification Student placeholder. If you have any questions, contact  Ms. Thee at sthee@ascent.edu

Step 10 

Once you have completed Step 9 above, if additional information is needed, you will be notified by Campus Ivy. In addition, you may be selected for verification. If so, you should receive notification about additional documents required. Please note thirty percent of those individuals who apply for federal assistance will be randomly selected for verification. There is no way of predetermining if you will be selected for verification.