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Financial Aid

How to Apply for Financial Aid

Applying for Need-Based Financial Aid


To receive priority processing, you should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to 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.

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. Read here for more information regarding Special and Unusual Circumstances.

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 email. Examples of additional information include federal tax forms for parents and students.

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, your financial aid will be canceled.

Salem Promise

This innovative award provides up to 100 percent coverage of tuition and fees for North Carolina resident applicants who are Pell eligible. Salem is ranked 2nd in the nation for Social Mobility because of our outstanding record of graduating students who receive Pell grants. Priority for the Salem Promise will be given to students who have completed admission application and FAFSA by March 1.

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 all undergraduate students based on their GPAs. Music scholarships are also available for incoming students with outstanding music ability who intend to major in music. The admissions office will award your merit scholarship upon acceptance to the college.

Please note: As an NCAA Division lll participating institution, student athletic ability or participation is NOT considered in the awarding of any merit or need-based financial assistance.

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