Virginia Commonwealth University

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Undergraduate Admissions

For information on FAFSA, financial aid, scholarships, payment plans, employment in Richmond and more.

Financing college

How do I apply for financial aid?

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) either on paper or online. VCU’s school code is 003735.

What is a FAFSA?

It is a needs analysis used to determine how much financial assistance you can get from both state and federal government programs. These come in the form of grants, scholarships, student employment and/or low-interest loans.

Where can I find the FAFSA?

Your high school counselor’s office is the best resource or you can go online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA also is available at most college or university student financial offices and most public libraries.

When do I apply?

We encourage students applying for financial aid to submit the FAFSA online (available at www.fafsa.ed.gov). You’re encouraged to submit your FAFSA by the priority filing date of March 1 so that a financial aid award notification can be sent to you prior to the May 1 admission confirmation date. The FAFSA must be completed each year.

What will I need in order to file?

  • Your federal tax return (include spouse if married)
  • Your W-2s
  • Your parents’ federal tax return (if you are dependent)
  • Your parents’ W-2s (if you are dependent)
  • The FAFSA form if you are filing on paper
  • PIN number for electronic signature if you're filing electronically
  • Records of any other income received (welfare, social security, child support, VA benefits, etc.)
  • Current balances of checking and saving accounts and other investments
  • Business/farm records (if applicable)
  • Alien registration card if not a U.S. citizen

Can I apply for aid if I haven’t yet completed my taxes?

Yes, you may complete the FAFSA using estimated income. We will request a copy of your completed tax form at a later date.

What happens after I apply?

You will receive a Student Aid Report approximately four weeks after mailing or electronically sending the FAFSA. We encourage students to use FAFSA on the Web because it is a much faster way of sending your information directly to the U.S. Department of Education. Within seven to 10 days after you receive the SAR, VCU will receive the same information electronically. Keep the SAR for your records or a copy of the SAR if you must submit corrections.

What do I do with the Student Aid Report (SAR) after I receive it?

After receiving your SAR, you want to check it for any errors. If there are no errors in the information you provided, just file your SAR away for future reference if needed. If you need to correct any information on the SAR, check with VCU’s Office of Financial Aid for further instructions on how to make the correction(s).

I have completed and submitted the FAFSA and received my SAR. What happens next?

The school(s) listed on your SAR will notify you if any other information is required to complete the financial aid process. The school will determine your eligibility for financial aid and notify you in writing. The notification you receive is commonly known as an Award Letter or Notification of Financial Aid Eligibility.

Current information on financial aid programs, policies and procedures, and links to free scholarship search services are available at www.finaid.vcu.edu.

What kinds of jobs are available for college students in Richmond?

If financial information provided to the VCU Office of Financial Aid indicates a student and family cannot meet the costs of education, work-study eligibility may be offered as part of the financial aid package. This federally funded program provides the opportunity to work in a campus office or a nonprofit agency in the Richmond area. The University Career Center will assist in the placement of students for whom work-study eligibility has been awarded. The Richmond area offers many employment opportunities. The University Career Center maintains a listing of both on- and-off campus positions and also helps students find job placements within a specific academic area through cooperative education.

When will I receive my bill? Does VCU have a payment plan?

Bills for the fall semester will be available online on the Student Accounting website at the beginning of August for students who have registered for fall classes. Students will be sent an email notification to their VCU email address when the online bills are available. Payment is due by the date specified on the bill.

Students with current charges of $100 or greater are eligible to participate in the university’s Installment Payment Plan, offered during the fall and spring semesters. The Installment Payment Plan distributes the cost of tuition, fees, room and board, and communications fee for the semester into four equal installments. The fee per semester is $25, paid with the first installment. The first installment for the fall semester is due before classes begin with the remaining three installments due in October, November and December. Information about how to sign up for the payment plan will be included with your bill. For more information, visit VCU Student Accounting.

What types of scholarships are offered by VCU?

VCU offers merit-based scholarships for all majors. The scholarships are based on student intellectual achievement and promise. None are based on need. Individual departments and schools also offer scholarship opportunities to new students and to returning students.

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