Submitting Your FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step to getting you the financial assistance to make the cost of college - an investment in your future - affordable.

The New FAFSA Is Ready for You

The FAFSA simplification act has brought many changes to the form, including a more streamlined application process and a better user experience. 

View the Latest FAFSA Updates

When is the FAFSA Due?

There is no hard deadline for the FAFSA, but it is a good idea to complete it as soon as it is made available in December of the year prior to your planned enrollment because some funding is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. It is not a requirement to have applied to Widener before submitting your FAFSA - so knock the FAFSA off your list first and then submit your online application to Widener. You'll want to include Widener University in the section of the FAFSA that asks which schools you are interested in applying to. Our school code is 003313.

The FAFSA is an important part of the information necessary for Widener's financial aid services team to prepare your financial aid offer. Your Student Aid Report will be sent directly to both you and to us after it has been processed.

2024/2025 Academic Year Priority Filing Dates

  • Fall 2024 Freshmen and Fall 2024 Transfer Students – We have relaxed our priority filing dates due to the challenges that families are experiencing with the 2024-2025 FAFSA.

How Do I Complete the FAFSA?

The following items are needed to complete the FAFSA:

  • FSA ID and account
    • On the 2024–25 FAFSA form, every contributor—anyone (you, your spouse, a biological or adoptive
      parent, or your parent's spouse) who's required to provide information on the FAFSA form—needs a account before accessing and completing their section of the online form. Contributors can access their account by using their FSA ID (account username and password).
  • Your parents’ SSNs if you are a dependent student
  • Parents' and student's W2 and/or 1099 forms from two years prior
  • Parents' and Student Federal tax return from two years prior
  • Records of child support received for the last calendar year
  • Current balances of cash, savings, checking accounts, mutual funds, CDs, and Bitcoin 
  • Net worth of investments, businesses, and for-profit farm

If at any time you have questions or are unsure what to do, know that we are here to help. Please contact our Office of Financial Aid Services for assistance.

Who is Eligible for Financial Aid

In order to receive a financial aid offer, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Have earned a high school diploma or have a GED
  • Be older than 17 years of age, Pennsylvania's compulsory high school attendance age
  • Not concurrently enrolled in an elementary or secondary institution

How is Financial Need Calculated?

A simple formula shows how it works:

Cost of Attendance

– Student Aid Index (SAI)


= Financial Need

Common Financial Aid Terms

  • Cost of Attendance: Estimates direct and indirect costs for attending the university (e.g., tuition, room and board, technology fees, books)
  • Student Aid Index (SAI): An eligibility index number used to determine how much federal student aid you might receive
  • Financial Need: Cost of attendance less SAI as determined by your FAFSA; it is this gure on which your nancial aid offer is calculated
  • Financial Aid Offer: Lists the breakdown of cost, types and amounts of aid awarded, and expected out of pocket expense

What Should I Expect After I Submit the FAFSA?

You can review your process status online and will receive a FAFSA Submission Summary within a few days after submission. This will summarize all submitted information and allow you to review for any required changes.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid will let us know once your FAFSA has been processed so we can begin our review.

If your aid offer includes a federal loan and you are a first-time borrower, there are a few more steps to take in order to receive the loan. Learn more regarding loan financing.

We've got a qualified team here who specializes in getting you the financial assistance you need. Don't hesitate to contact us with any and all questions.