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Students applying for financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Apply early!

What is FAFSA?

FAFSA is used to apply for federal, state and Capitol College financial aid programs. You can apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. One of the most important steps in completing the FAFSA is to sign your application. There are three ways you (and your parents, if applicable) can sign the FAFSA:

  • You can electronically sign your FAFSA with your PIN. If you don't have a PIN, you can get on now at www.pin.ed.gov.
  • You can print a signature page from FAFSA on the Web, sign it, and mail it to the provided address.
  • Or you can submit your online FAFSA without signing. If you choose this option, the Department of Education will mail you a Student Aid Report that requests signatures. Sign and return the SAR immediately so Capitol College can process your FAFSA.

What is a PIN?

A PIN is your (and your parents, if applicable) personal identification number. You will use this number in the future to correct your FAFSA, apply for aid and access your Department of Education records. You (and your parents, if applicable, and you are dependent) can get a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov. Keep your PIN in a secure place, and don't give it out to anyone else.

How Does the FAFSA Work?

After you submit the FAFSA to the U.S. Department of Education's Central Processing System, you will receive confirmation that your application has been received. It takes the Department of Education between three to five business days to process your FAFSA.

You will receive a Student Aid Report Information Acknowledgement. The Department of Education will forward your data to Capitol College.

Many states, including the state of Maryland, use the financial information you provide on the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for state scholarship programs. Capitol College will also use your FAFSA information to assess your eligibility for our own scholarships.


  • Read the application instructions thoroughly before filling out your FAFSA. Be sure you (and your parents, if applicable) sign your FAFSA using your PIN.
  • It is easier to fill out the application if you (and your parents, if applicable) have completed your previous year's federal income tax return. You may estimate income on the FAFSA, but you may be asked to verify it later by the federal processor or the college.
  • Be sure that you list Capitol College on the FAFSA (school code 001436) to have your information forwarded to the college.
  • File the FAFSA by the March 1 priority deadline.
  • Keep a copy of everything you submit to the financial aid office for your records.
  • Keep your address up to date. Don't rely on the post office to forward your mail in a timely manner. Because the financial aid process involves deadlines that must be met, notify the financial aid office and the registrar's office if you move.
  • Write your name and social security number on all the documents you give to the financial aid office.