Applying for Need-Based Financial Aid


To receive priority processing, you should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) sometime between October 1 and February 1 of the year in which you will begin college. The front page of the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet contains deadline information for state grant programs. Most states have state grant deadlines on or around February 1.

Although processing will be slower, you may still apply for financial aid after February 1.

Log on to the U.S. Department of Education’s website at to complete the FAFSA. Watch a Tutorial on completing the FAFSA.

In order for Salem College to receive your processed FAFSA information, you must list our Title IV federal school code on the form: 002960.

FAFSAs submitted over the Internet require that a FSA ID be used to sign the form electronically. FSA ID’s may be obtained by registering at the FAFSA website. Separate FSA ID’s are required for both you and your parent (if you are a dependent), and BOTH must be used to sign the form.

If you do not wish to have a FSA ID to sign the FAFSA electronically, a signature page can be printed and mailed to the processor upon completion. Complete instructions for submission are located on the home page of the FAFSA website. FAFSA on the Web submissions are processed within three to five days when signed with an FSA ID. Internet submissions without an FSA ID are processed three weeks after receiving the signature page.

FAFSAs can be submitted with estimated tax information or actual tax information. If you use estimated tax information, you MUST correct your FAFSA when the actual information is available. You and your parents must also submit copies of your signed tax returns and W-2 forms to our office when estimated information is used.

NOTE: In some instances, the Financial Aid Office can consider special circumstances (such as job loss) that are not reflected by information provided on the FAFSA. Contact the Financial Aid Office for the appropriate Professional Judgment forms. You will be required to submit supporting documentation before your situation is reviewed. 

What happens after the FAFSA is filed with the U.S. Department of Education?

We will electronically receive your processed FAFSA information if you list Salem College on the form. Once the FAFSA information is received, our office will review the form for completeness and accuracy. If additional information is needed, we will request it from you by mail. Examples of additional information include federal tax forms for parents and students and verification worksheets.

If our office does not have all the necessary paperwork to make an award, we will make an estimated award for incoming freshmen and transfer students. Along with the estimated award letters, we will request additional information to make the final award.

Please keep in mind that if you or your parents estimate tax information and receive estimated awards, the actual award may be different.

Once you accept an award, you must return any paperwork needed for processing loans, work-study jobs and/or outstanding documents needed by our office.

Initial financial aid awards are based on full-time enrollment. If you are not enrolled full time at the end of drop/add, your award will be adjusted. If you are enrolled less than half time, you financial aid will be cancelled.

What about loans?

Salem College participates exclusively in the Federal Direct Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized student loans) and the Federal Parent PLUS Direct Loan programs.

To be eligible for Federal Direct Loans, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After completing the FAFSA and turning in all the necessary documents, you will receive an award letter stating the Direct loan type and amount you are eligible for.

To receive the Direct loan, you will need to complete entrance counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The entrance counseling and MPN can both be completed online at

Applying for Merit-Based Financial Aid

We offer merit awards to students (up to age 22) entering with exceptional talent. These awards generally go to students with excellent GPAs and SAT scores along with significant achievements in activities and service. Music scholarships are also available for incoming students with outstanding music ability who intend to major in music. 

All students from the United States are eligible for the Salem College scholarships. In addition, all scholarship recipients may apply for need-based aid.

Students must apply and compete for these awards. Final candidates will be invited to the Salem College campus for interviews with the selection committee during Scholarship Weekend, to be held February 13-15, 2010. All recipients of scholarships will be notified by March 15.

To be considered for the Lucy Hanes Chatham Scholarship, Salem’s most prestigious award, applications must be postmarked by January 1. Applications for all other scholarships must be postmarked by January 15.

If you are a Fleer Center student, you may apply for the following scholarships offered by Salem College: the Martha Fleer Prime Times Alumnae Club Scholarship, the Patricia McAleer Scholarship, the Shirley D. Shouse Scholarship, and the Stuart I. Bellin Scholarship. In addition, you may be interested in reviewing a variety of outside scholarships, including the North Carolina JobLink Program. Click here for more information on these scholarships.