The FAFSA: Cutting College Costs with Financial Aid

Going to college is a pretty expensive investment, but it’s also one of the most important that you’ll make in your life. That’s why, at SEU, we work to make a college education accessible to everyone. We offer students and their families as much financial assistance as possible in order to help manage tuition costs. Each year, over 98% of our students receive financial aid funds averaging more than $18,000 in scholarships, grants, state and federal aid and other awards.

Financial aid at SEU

So how can you become eligible to earn the maximum financial aid package available to you at Southeastern?

  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA (pronounced faf-suh)
  • Complete the SEU admission process

By completing these two important steps, you will receive your SEU financial aid award letter, which outlines the scholarships and other financial awards you would receive as an SEU student.

What is the FAFSA?

No matter where you decide to go to college, if you want to receive federal (government) money to help you pay for school, you’ll need to fill out the FAFSA. All incoming and current college students are required to fill out the FAFSA in order to become eligible. The FAFSA is used to calculate your expected family contribution (EFC), which determines just how much money you will be expected to contribute toward your college costs and how much federal student aidFederal student aid is money provided to students by the U.S. Department of Education in the form of grants, loan and work-study funds. you would be eligible to receive. EFC is based on your family’s income, assets and other household information.

If you’ve heard the acronym FAFSA a time or two already during your college search process, it likely won’t be the last. Your federal aid eligibility does not carry over from one year to the next, so you will need to submit the FAFSA each year throughout college in order to continue receiving federal funds toward your educational costs.

Required FAFSA information

There are a number of items you’ll need to have nearby as you fill out the FAFSA, including your or your parents’ financial records for the previous year, depending on whether you are a dependent student.

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your Alien Registration Number (non-U.S. citizens only)
  • Most recent federal income tax returns, W-2s and other financial records
  • Bank statements
  • Records of investments
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • An FSA ID (not required, but it can help speed up the process if you are applying online)


Students should aim to submit the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible. By completing this step and the SEU admission process, you will receive your financial aid award letter and become eligible to lock in your housing and classroom space for the following year. Because Southeastern’s enrollment has increased rapidly over the last few years, nearly doubling since 2011, and is expected to continue to grow, it’s important to reserve your housing and classroom space early in order to guarantee your spot on campus.


Our Office of Student Financial Services is here to help you navigate the financial aid process and understand your options when it comes to paying for college. You can contact an SEU financial aid counselor at finaid@seu.edu or 800.500.8760. For more information about the FAFSA and federal financial aid, you can also visit studentaid.ed.gov.