In order for the school that you wish to attend to receive your FAFSA information, and to qualify for a Pell Grant, you must put their six digit Federal School Code on the application.
If your application does not have the correct Federal School Code on it, the school you want to attend will not get the needed information and you will not be eligible for student aid at that school.
The fastest way to get the correct code is to search on the Federal School Code database on this web site. You may also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 or call your school. If your school does not have a federal schools code, the school then does not participate in federal financial aid.
Some tips to help you search:
- Only letters, spaces and hyphens (-) are allowed.
- You must put in at least four characters.
- You must use real university names – the list does not have nicknames or abbreviations (Mizzou, UConn, UCLA).
- Try to use unique words (university, LaCrosse, medical).
- You must include a state.
- City is optional, but can help narrow the search.
- If you use City, please be aware that some cities are listed with abbreviations (St. Louis, St Louis) and some aren’t (Saint Louis). Also, some are listed using both.
Why should you look up the school codes before filling out your FAFSA?
Looking up the school codes before filling out the form will help you to stay organized and save time. Filling out the entire application should not take more than 20 minutes, if you have all the information ready to enter. Sometimes the form times out if you are filling it out online, which will be frustrating and time wasting for you.
Another reason why you should first look up the correct codes is to make sure the schools offer federal financial aid. Some private colleges only offer private loans or scholarships, so it may be prohibitive for you to attend the school if you are heavily relying on federal aid money.
It is a good idea to fill out every space you are given with school codes. Usually, you can put down 10 schools on the FAFSA. The schools you list on the form will receive information about your grades, financial neediness, and test scores. No matter which school you attend, if they are one of your 10, they will already have your information to expedite the financial aid process.
Which universities or colleges should you put down to fill in all 10 spots?
Most students apply to several “safety” schools, one “match” school and some “reach” schools. A “safety” school is one that is almost certain to accept your application. A “match” school is one that matches your grades and test scores very closely. A “reach” school is one that has average test scores/grades just a little bit above yours.
Enter only the school codes for the institutions you might attend. You should be able to think of 10 schools that you are interested in, however remote the possibility of attending. Remember: You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take!