Applying for Financial Aid
What forms and documents do I need to submit to apply for
All students applying for financial aid are required to complete
the CSS PROFILE and the FAFSA. In
addition, parents and students must submit signed copies of
federal income tax returns (including all schedules, W-2 wage
statements, partnership tax returns and schedules, and S corporation
tax returns and schedules). If either the student or parent
did not file a tax return in the previous year, please contact
the Office of Student Financial Aid to obtain a non-tax return
If my parents are separated or divorced, do they both need
to submit financial information?
Yes. Wake Forest's policy for determining need is based on
the principle that both parents have a responsibility to contribute
to the costs of education. We therefore need financial information
from both households. The custodial parent and current spouse
(if applicable) should complete the CSS PROFILE and FAFSA applications.
The noncustodial parent and current spouse (if applicable) should
complete the CSS Noncustodial Profile. Both parents and stepparents
are required to submit copies of W-2 wage statements and income
tax returns, including all schedules, to verify reported income.
Where do I obtain the CSS PROFILE and FAFSA applications?
The online CSS PROFILE application may be accessed at https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/index.jsp.
The CSS PROFILE school code for Wake Forest is 5885.
The online FAFSA application is available at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
The paper version is available at most secondary schools and
colleges. The FAFSA school code for Wake Forest is 002978.
What is the difference between the CSS PROFILE and the
The CSS PROFILE is used to determine eligibility for institutional
funds, while the FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for
federal aid. There are variations in the way the two applications
gather information and evaluate criteria to determine need.
The CSS PROFILE was developed by the College Scholarship Service
of the College Board and is the primary tool used by many private
institutions to determine the expected family share of costs
for education. In evaluating a family's ability to pay educational
expenses, the CSS PROFILE follows what is known as institutional
methodology (IM). The information is used to determine how need-based funding will be awarded from the resources of the institution.
The FAFSA follows federal methodology (FM) and is used solely
to determine eligibility for federal aid, including Pell Grants,
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Perkins Loans,
Stafford Loans, and Federal Work-Study jobs. Both applications
are necessary to establish eligibility for all available sources
of financial aid.
What are the due dates for applying for financial aid?
can I expect to hear about my award?
Incoming freshmen and transfer students must
submit the CSS PROFILE between October 1 and February 15. The FAFSA must be completed between January 1 and February 15. All
income tax documents must be submitted to CSS IDOC by
March 1. Students who meet the
March 1 priority deadline should receive notification of eligibility
for financial aid by mid-April.
Returning students must complete the CSS PROFILE and FAFSA
by March 1, and submit all tax documents to CSS IDOC by April 1.
Returning students who meet the April 1 priority deadline will
be notified of financial aid awards by mid-June.
Scholarships and Grant funds may be limited after these deadlines. As a result, students who complete their financial aid application after these published deadlines may find that their financial aid award is weighted more heavily toward need-based loans than need-based scholarships.
Do we need to have our taxes completed to file the CSS
PROFILE and FAFSA applications?
No. Students and families may complete both applications using
reasonable estimates of income. Before a final award can be
made, however, completed tax documents must be submitted to
CSS IDOC, in order that we can verify the information reported on
your financial aid applications. At that time, the information
on the CSS PROFILE and FAFSA will be adjusted to reflect actual
figures and calculate your eligibility for aid.
If I am not able to provide all of the materials by the
deadlines, will I lose the opportunity to receive financial
Financial aid awards cannot
be made until all necessary documentation is received. Since
a financial aid award may determine a student's ability to attend
Wake Forest, all students are encouraged to meet the priority
deadlines. By submitting the materials by the deadlines,
students maximize their chances to be considered for the full
range of gift aid, including a variety of need-based scholarships.
Do I need to reapply for financial aid each year?
Yes. All returning students must reapply for aid each year
by submitting the CSS PROFILE and the Renewal FAFSA by
1, and sending all required US income tax documents to CSS IDOC by April 1.
Will I receive the same financial aid award for all four
The total dollar amount of financial aid awards is based on
need. Any change in family circumstances, such as an increase
or decrease in parents' or student's income, assets, family
size, or number of family members attending college, may affect
eligibility for financial aid. If the family's circumstances
do not change significantly over four years, the financial aid
package should be comparable each year.