Frequently Asked Questions | Financial Aid

Note: The FAFSA Simplification Act was enacted in 2021. This Act represents a significant overhaul of federal student aid, including the information requested on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Learn more about these changes here.


How do I apply for Carroll University scholarships/grants?

First, you have to be admitted as a full-time undergraduate student seeking your first bachelor's degree. This will determine the types of "merit" funding you qualify for based upon academic achievement. You may also apply for additional scholarships from Carroll. Review our scholarship page and talk to your admission counselor if you wish to apply for any additional scholarships. Second, you would file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Once the Financial Aid Office receives this information from the federal processor, it will be determined if you qualify for any need-based Carroll University monies. If you are a full-time undergraduate student working on your second bachelor's degree, you are not eligible for state or federal grants, but are eligible for 1/3 off of tuition.

How and when do I apply for financial aid?

You must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We recommend that the form be completed online at Be sure to list Carroll University's school code of 003838. Once the FAFSA form is processed, an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) will be formulated. It will then be determined if you qualify for any type of federal, state, work or loan assistance.

Typically you may complete the FAFSA with financial information from two years prior beginning as early as October 1 for the following school year. Note that for the 2024-25 school year, the FAFSA will not open until December, 31 2023.

Must I apply for aid every year? If so, when?

Yes, students who want to be considered for certain types of financial aid must complete the FAFSA at prior to the start of each academic year. If you are not planning on completing the FAFSA, notify the Financial Aid Office at and we can determine if you are eligible for any financial aid.

Do I have to complete the FAFSA?

In order to be eligible for any federal or state aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you do not wish to fill out the FAFSA, you may still receive a financial aid award from Carroll. This award will show any merit scholarships you have received. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you are not filling out the FAFSA and want to be considered a "merit only" student.

How do I request a tax transcript from the IRS?

You can request a tax transcript online, by phone or via mail. More information can be found at the IRS website.

What is an EFC (or SAI) and how is it used to determine my eligibility?

When you file the Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA), the information you report is used in a formula established by the U.S. Congress. The formula determines your Expected Family Contribution (renamed Student Aid Index beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA). This EFC/SAI is used in determining need-based financial assistance by doing the following: Cost of attendance - EFC/SAI = Financial need. Learn more about the EFC calculation.

My parents make too much money. Is it worth my time to file a FAFSA?

It is impossible to determine from just income level what financial aid you may qualify for. Many other factors play a role in determining the types of aid you are eligible for, such as size of household and number in college. The FAFSA is free and only takes a small amount of time to complete. Also keep in mind that every student qualifies for some form of loan assistance if they file the FAFSA.

My parents will not help me pay for school. Can I file as "independent"?

Unfortunately, the answer is "No." According to federal regulations governing Student Financial Aid Programs, a student cannot be considered independent unless they:

  • Are 24 years of age or older
  • Have already received their first bachelors degree and are going onto receive their masters or doctorate
  • Are married
  • Have children who receive more than half of their support from the student
  • Have dependents (other than a child or spouse) who live with the student and who receive more than half of their support from the student
  • At the age 13 or older, both of your parents were deceased, you were in foster care or you were a dependent/ward of the court
  • As of today, you are in legal guardianship or an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence
  • At any time on or after July 1, you were determined to be homeless
  • You are a veteran or are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training

My parents are divorced. Which parent should list their income information on the 2023-24 FAFSA?

If your biological/adoptive parents have divorced or separated, answer the questions about the parent you lived with more during the past 12 months. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, give answers about the parent who provided more financial support during the last 12 months, or during the most recent year that you actually received support from a parent. If this parent is remarried as of today, answer the questions on the rest of the form about that parent and the person whom your parent married (your stepparent).

My parents are divorced. Which parent should list their income information on the 2024-25 FAFSA?

If your biological/adoptive parents have divorced or separated, answer the questions about the parent who provided the most financial support to you during the past 12 months. If this parent is remarried as of today, answer the questions on the rest of the form about that parent and the person whom your parent married (your stepparent).

My parent has remarried. Do we have to include stepparent information on the FAFSA?

Yes, if your parent has remarried, you are required to report stepparent income and asset information on the FAFSA. The form was developed to determine your family's ability to contribute to your education and needs to be an accurate reflection of current family situations, regardless of the amount of financial support being received from the stepparent.

What is "verification" and why was I selected?

The Federal Processor randomly selects FAFSA applications for the process of verification. You will need to complete a verification worksheet provided to you by the Carroll University Financial Aid Office and supply signed tax transcripts of both the student and parent federal tax returns. It is possible you may be asked to complete other forms as well. The verification worksheet, tax transcripts and other forms are then compared with the information reported on the FAFSA to double check for accuracy.

Please Note: If a student has been selected for verification it is important that the family respond to the verification request as soon as possible to prevent delays in financial aid processing.

I have received an outside scholarship. Will this effect my financial aid?

In most cases this will have no effect on your financial aid situation, however, occasionally it may have a direct effect on the type and amount of loan you will qualify for. Financial aid from all sources cannot exceed the cost of attendance established by Carroll. If you receive an outside scholarship you should contact the Financial Aid Office.

I will be attending as a part-time student. Do I qualify for financial aid?

Maintaining an enrollment status of 6 credits (half-time status) or more per semester for undergraduates and 3 credits or more per semester for graduate students does entitle you to qualify for financial aid. You must complete the FAFSA to be eligible.

Can I get a job on-campus?

If you have been awarded Federal Work Study or Campus Job and have completed your job application, the Carroll University Financial Aid Office will notify you at the end of the summer where you will be placed for the school year. To be awarded Work Study or Campus Job, the criteria that generally have to be met are that you: are a full-time, undergraduate student; complete the FAFSA form; demonstrate financial need according to the FAFSA; and live on campus.

Do I have to file a FAFSA every year?

Yes. A student does have to file the FAFSA each year they will be in school to be eligible for need-based aid. A student can either complete their renewal application online, or complete a new FAFSA, either online or the paper version. Renewal applications can be completed online at with the use of your federal FSA ID. If you have lost or forgot your FSA ID, you will find links on the log-in page that give you the option of retrieving your username and password.

What is a FSA ID?

A FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED websites such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) at

If you are a parent of a dependent student, you will need your own FSA ID if you want to sign your child's FAFSA electronically. If you have more than one child attending college, you can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications. Please note: Each FSA ID user must have a unique email address.

Your FSA ID is used to sign legally binding documents electronically. It has the same legal status as a written signature. Don't give your FSA ID to anyone—not even to someone helping you fill out the FAFSA. Sharing your FSA ID could put you at risk of identity theft!

Does Carroll University participate in the SAGE Tuition Rewards Program?

Yes! Learn more about SAGE Tuition Rewards.

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