Financial Aid Application Process

FAFSA Simplification

Due to the passing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Simplification Act on December 27, 2020, as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the FAFSA is changing for the 2024-2025 aid year.

You can expect the following changes:

  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA will not be available until December 2023.
    • The 2024-2025 FAFSA determines your financial aid eligibility for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 terms.
  • The FAFSA application process will be streamlined and easier for students to complete.
  • New terminology will be added to the FAFSA.
  • Eligibility for federal financial aid will be expanded.

We will continue to update this page as additional information becomes available. You can learn more about the specific changes, timeline, and how to prepare below.

FAFSA changes for 2024-2025

Streamlined application process

The FAFSA will feature fewer questions, fewer requirements, and retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange from the IRS instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

New terminology and information

  • The FAFSA is introducing the new term contributor, which refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA form, including the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent’s spouse. Being a contributor does not imply responsibility for the student’s college costs.
      • Students will need the contributor’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and email address to invite them to complete the required portion of the FAFSA.
      • Contributors will need to provide personal and financial information on their section of the FAFSA.
  • If your parents are divorced or separated, the contributing parent(s) is the parent (and their spouse, if remarried) who provided the greater portion of your financial support during the 12 months immediately prior to filing the FAFSA. It is not automatically the parent you primarily lived with during the past 12 months.
  • All Contributors–student, student’s spouse (if married), and student’s parents(s) (if a dependent student)–must provide consent to have tax data transferred directly from the IRS to the FAFSA. If consent is not provided by all parties, the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid. In previous years, transferring IRS data was optional. It is now required.
  • The need analysis formula to determine financial aid, formerly known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI). Unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number.
  • Small businesses and family farms are now considered assets*.
      • *The Department of Education will provide more details in the coming months.
  • The number of family members in college will still be asked on the FAFSA, but it will be excluded from the federal, state, and institutional financial aid calculation.
  • The Student Aid Report (SAR) will now be referred to as the FAFSA Submission Summary. This is the summary submission document you receive after completing the FAFSA.

Expanding Pell Grant eligiblity

The adjustments to the new Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation will expand Federal Pell Grant eligibility to more students.

Prepare for the FAFSA

While the 2024-2025 FAFSA won’t be available until December, you can still prepare by doing the following:

  • Create an FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website and assist contributors, such as your parent(s) or spouse, in creating an FSA ID.
      • An FSA ID is an account and password that gives you access to the Federal Student Aid’s online system and serves as your electronic signature.
      • With the FSA ID, you can fill out the FAFSA when it’s available, sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN), apply for repayment plans, complete loan counseling, and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool.
  • Complete the FAFSA as soon as it opens in December.
  • Use the Federal Student Aid Estimator to find out how much federal student aid you may be eligible for starting with the 2024–25 award year.
      • This tool estimates the Student Aid Index (SAI) for 2024–25 award year, not the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for 2023–24 award year.


How to Apply

Create a Federal Student Aid ID

Before filling out the FAFSA, students should create an FSA ID. The FSA ID has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN and must be used to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create one at

How to Create an FSA ID?

  1. When logging into one of the websites listed above, click the link to create an FSA ID.
  2. Create a username and password, and enter your e-mail address.
  3. Enter you name, date of birth, Social Security number, contact information, and challenge questions and answers.
  4. If you have a Federal Student Aid PIN, you will be able to enter it and link it to your FSA ID. You can still create an FSA ID if you have forgotten or do not have a PIN.
  5. Review you information, and read and accept the terms and conditions.
  6. Confirm your e-mail address using the secure code, which will be sent to the e-mail address you entered when you created your FSA ID. Once you verify your e-mail address, you can use it instead of your username to log into the websites.

You can use your FSA ID to sign right away. Once the Social Security Administration verifies your information in 1-3 days, or if you have linked your PIN to your FSA ID, you will be able to use your FSA ID to access the websites listed above.

Apply for Federal Assistance

Each year students must complete the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA). This application will ask questions about the income of the parents and student, the size of the family, and assets. The application can be submitted online.

Student Aid Report (SAR).

The federal government will take that data and provide information electronically to the school so that the amount of grant, loan, and federal work study can be determined for that student. Students can list up to six schools on their application.

The student will receive SAR information via:

  • EMAIL – If an email address is provided, a link will be sent to an online SAR that can be accessed by providing a SSN, date of birth, and first two letters of their last name.
  • PAPER – Students that apply on paper and do not provide an email address will receive a paper SAR.
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENT – Students who apply electronically but do not provide an e-mail address will receive a SAR Acknowledgement, which is less detailed and cannot be used for corrections.

Delta State will review the information and determine what additional documents are needed. Copies of tax returns, institutional forms, a copy of your social security card, a copy of your marriage license, or other documents may be required.

Once all required documents are received by Delta State, the student will be notified with an email award notification of how much grant, loan, or work study they can receive.

Apply for State Aid

Several student financial aid programs are offered by the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid. You must apply online each year no later than September 15.

Who’s My Parent on the FAFSA?

Dependent students are required to input the parent’s information onto the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • For Federal Student Aid purposes, a legal (biological or adoptive) parent or stepparent, or a person that the state has determined to be your parent.
  • The following people are not considered a legal parent: grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, older brothers or sisters, widowed stepparents, and aunts or uncles.

Use the diagram below to figure out which parent’s information to include (depending on your family situation).

Mid-Year Transfer Students

Students who are transferring to Delta State must have their FAFSA application sent to Delta State. To have your FAFSA application sent to Delta State, add Delta State’s school code to your FAFSA. The school code is 002403. Once Delta State receives the FAFSA application, the Financial Aid Office will determine what required documentation is needed to complete your application.

Attention: the award information you received at another school will not be sent to Delta State. You must complete the information above for Delta State to award any eligible federal student grants, loans, and/or work study.


Verification is the process of confirming the accuracy of student reported data on financial aid applications. Students who are selected for verification by the Department of Education will be notified once their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is submitted. If selected for verification, an asterisk (*) will be placed next the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Once Delta State receives the student’s FAFSA record, an email will be sent requesting additional documentation to complete his/her financial aid file. The Delta State Student Financial Aid Office will compare the information from your FAFSA with other required documentation and make any changes to your FAFSA on your behalf as necessary. Student/Parents should not make any changes to the FAFSA during verification as it will further delay verification processing.

No federal  or need-based awards can be processed until verification is completed.

What documents may be required for verification:
The following verification documents may include, but are not limited to:

  • A Verification Worksheet, (if required) with all items completed and student/parent or student/spouse signatures included,
  • IRS Data Retrieval Tool or Tax Return Transcripts,
  • Parent/student verification of non-tax filing if taxes were not filed (if requested by FAO)
  • Low Income Verification Worksheet (if requested by FAO)
  • Statement of Educational Purpose (if requested by FAO)
  • Official High School Transcript or equivalent completion (if requested by FAO)

What is the timeline for verification?
Upon Delta State receiving a student’s Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR), a tracking email is sent requesting the additional documentation needed to complete the student’s financial aid file. If the student’s ISIR indicates the student was selected for verification, the appropriate verification documents are requested. The majority of financial aid funds are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. The office of financial aid cannot process a student’s financial aid file until all missing documents are submitted. Delta State has a priority deadline of July 31st to submit paperwork for the upcoming Fall semester. If a student submits verification documents after the priority date or 60 days after the time they were requested, the student will be awarded aid on an availability basis.

How will I be notified if there are incomplete and/or  new verification requirements?
The FAO will contact students and/or parents via email if student/parents do not include certain verification documents, if any information is incomplete or blank on the verification worksheet, or if the FAO needs to request additional information.

How are changes made to my FAFSA?
If differences are found between the documentation submitted to the Financial Aid Office and the FAFSA, the FAO staff have a responsibility to make necessary corrections to the student’s financial aid application. Corrections are made electronically with the Central Processing System. When the corrections are  processed the new information on the student’s ISIR is uploaded and the student will be processed and any adjustments will be made.

How does the Financial Aid Office make award notification?
Students who complete the verification process are emailed an award letter. If there are changes to the ISIR, the student will receive a revised award letter by email.

Check Unmet Requirement Status

Once the Financial Aid Office receives your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), application status updates for federal student aid can be viewed online by logging into DSU Online Services with your DSU ID/PIN. To determine if there are unmet financial aid requirements:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on myDSU
  3. Click on myDSU Portal
  4. Login using your User Name and Password
  5. Click on DSU Online Services
  6. Click on the Banner Menu in the upper left corner
  7. Click on Student Services and Financial Aid twice
  8. Click on Financial Aid
  9. If there are unsatisfied requirements, they will be listed under the ‘Home’ section.

View Financial Aid Award

  1. Go to
  2. Click on myDSU
  3. Click on myDSU Portal
  4. Login using your User Name and Password
  5. Click on DSU Online Services
  6. Click on the Banner Menu in the upper left corner
  7. Click on Student Services and Financial Aid twice
  8. Click on Financial Aid
  9. Click on ‘Award Offer’
  10. Select the Aid Year you want to view from the Drop Down Menu
    1. The Aid Year is the Academic Year for which you are receiving financial aid.
    2. If a student has been awarded, their fall and spring financial aid amounts will be shown.
  11. If no award information is visible, click on ‘Home’ to determine if there are unsatisfied requirements.

Over Awards

An over award occurs when a student’s award package has exceeded either the unmet need or cost of attendance, depending on the type of aid that has been awarded.  To prevent over awards, it is important to notify the Office of Student Financial Assistance of any potential awards not already listed on the student’s financial aid award letter.  In the event of an over award, a student’s award is reduced to eliminate the over award, which may result in a repayment of the over award.

Refund Balance

Do you have a refund balance? Double-check your student account for a refund balance or credit. If a refund is available, a check will be sent to the mailing address on file or via direct deposit if set up through the student’s DSU Online Services account. To set up direct deposit, please use the steps on Student Business Services’ eRefunds webpage.

Accept/Decline Awards

  1. Go to
  2. Click on myDSU
  3. Click on myDSU Portal
  4. Login using your User Name and Password
  5. Click on DSU Online Services
  6. Click on the Banner Menu in the upper left corner
  7. Click on Student Services and Financial Aid twice
  8. Click on Financial Aid
  9. In the upper right corner, select the Aid Year you want to view from the Drop Down Menu
    1. The Aid Year is the Academic Year for which you are receiving financial aid.
  10. Respond to the questions and click Submit.
  11. Wait 48 hours for responses to be recorded, then proceed to step 12.
  12. Click on “Award Offer”
    1. Under the “Award Offer,” you can Accept/Decline Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized loans and Work Study offers.
    2. If you want a partial amount, please select the appropriate option and specify the amount requested.
    3. Click Submit.

Loan Counseling

Entrance Counseling and Promissory Notes

All students who receive a student loan after July 1, 2010, must complete a new Master Promissory Note and complete new Loan Entrance Counseling.  Loan funds cannot be paid to a student until this occurs.

Can I fill out my Master Promissory Note and complete Loan Entrance Counseling now?

Yes. You can do both at

What do I have to do to get my loan funds for next year?

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at
  2. Provide documents requested by the Financial Aid Office.
  3. Complete a new Master Promissory Note for the Direct Loan Program at
  4. Complete Loan Entrance Counseling for Direct Loans at