Applying for Financial Aid
Step 1. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- What is the FAFSA: The FAFSA is your application for grants (free money), work study (money you earn), and loans (money you pay back). Every student should complete this application, regardless of her or his family's financial status. FAFSA information determines the amount each student is eligible to receive from a broad range of financial aid, including federal and state grants, federally-subsidized student work-study, and/or loans. Even if FAFSA results do not demonstrate financial need, everybody initially qualifies for some form of financial aid. Information on what documents you will need to gather in order to complete the application can be found here.
- Get your FSA ID and Password: You’ll need an FSA ID, a username and password combination that allows you to sign your FAFSA electronically. Your FSA ID also can be used to sign loan contracts and to access certain information online. You can get your FSA ID as you fill out the FAFSA, but you also have the option to get it ahead of time. Parents of dependent students will need their own FSA ID to sign their student’s FAFSA.
- Add our School Code: Adding UNM's school code (002663) will ensure your FAFSA will be sent to UNM's Financial Aid Office automatically. You will add the school code when completing a new FAFSA. For instructions on how to add a school code to an already existing FAFSA, click here.
- Important Dates: Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year the FAFSA will be available to complete as early as Oct. 1, 2016 using your 2015 tax and income data. This is a permanent change, you will be able to complete the FAFSA every year as early as October 1 using the prior-prior years' tax information. UNM's FAFSA priority date for 2017-18 is January 6th with a requirement to have all Additional Documentation submitted by January 31st to remain eligible for priority aid. Students who complete the FAFSA by the FAFSA priority date and have a complete Financial Aid file by the Additional Documentation Submission date are considered first for limited grants and loans. If you file your FAFSA after the priority date, you are still considered for the Federal Pell Grant (if eligible) and Loan Programs. For current dates and deadlines please check our website. It is in your best interest to complete the FAFSA even if the priority date has passed.
Step 2. Complete your Financial Aid File
- Complete your Financial Aid file: The Additional Documentation Submission Date for 2017-2018 is January 31st, this is when we ask that you submit any of the additional documentation required of you to complete your Financial Aid file. You can check your Financial Aid file on Loboweb to see what information is requested of you. The Additional Documentation Submission Date must be met in order to be considered for certain priority aid that is limited. Even though UNM’s Additional Documentation Submission Date is January 31st, you can submit documentation at any time during the year to complete your file and you will still be considered for the Pell Grant (if eligible) and Federal Loan Programs. It is important to note that Financial Aid awarding will not occur until your file is complete.
- FAFSA Verification – Additional Documentation needed to complete your file many times is the result of a process called Verification. Often verification requires a copy of your (and your parents) IRS Tax Transcript, W2's, as well as other documentation. Other examples of requested documentation include your citizenship status, Selective Service registration, dependency status, household size information, transcripts from previous schools, or other information related to eligibility. Your financial aid file is deemed incomplete until all required documentation has been satisfied.
- Communication from UNM: You will receive an email communication if any additional documentation is required in order to complete your Financial Aid file. The email will be sent to your UNM email account (incoming freshmen (only) will receive a duplicate email at the email address provided on their Admission Application to UNM). For more information on how to submit documents to the Financial Aid Office click here.
- Corrections to your FAFSA: In general, changes to income are not allowable as the FAFSA is considered a snapshot of the student's ability to pay. However, if you or your family have experienced a special circumstance that has affected your financial situation since reporting your information on your FAFSA, you can submit a special circumstance petition form to have your current financial situation evaluated.
Step 3. Review and Modify your Financial Aid Awards.
- Awarding Timeline: Initial Awarding begins in late February (beginning with the 17/18 academic year) for the upcoming school year and only for those students with a FAFSA on file and a complete financial aid file (see step 2). If a student submits their FAFSA later in the year or after the school year has already begun, awarding will occur when that student has a complete financial aid file.
- Financial Aid Awarding Requirements: Awarding only occurs for those students that:
- Notification of Financial Aid Awards: You will receive an email notification with instructions on how to use LoboWeb to access your financial aid information to review awards and modify certain awards. Initial notification of awards for incoming freshmen will be done through a one-time mailed award letter. After initial awarding, incoming freshmen will be required to use our LoboWeb self-service.
- Review and Modify your Awards: Students can review awards and modify certain awards on LoboWeb under the Financial Aid Tab. Grants (free money) are automatically accepted for you. Loans and Work Study awards must be accepted or declined on Loboweb. If you wish to modify an award amount you can submit a Financial Aid Change form. For first-time borrowers at UNM, loans require additional steps after acceptance, to see additional loan steps click here.
Step 4. Prepare for Disbursement
- Financial Aid Disbursement is the process of Financial Aid releasing your funds to the Bursar's Office so that your bill at the University will be paid. In order for Disbursement of funds to occur students have meet certain requirements:
- have a complete financial aid file,
- be meeting eligibility requirements (this includes Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements),
- and be enrolled for the correct number of credit hours. If you plan to be less than full-time you will need to inform the Financial Aid Office.
- If you are meeting the three requirements above your aid will begin to disburse to your student account on the first day of classes. If your financial aid awards exceed your charges at UNM, you may receive the excess funds in the form of a refund. Refunds generally become available the first week of classes. Refunds ARE NOT distributed in person. Rather, refunds are only available through the mail, or through direct deposit. We strongly encourage direct deposit.
Tips and guides for completing the FAFSA
- Watch the Five-Minute FAFSA Video for a quick introduction to the FAFSA.
- Getting Started Undergraduate, Freshmen Guide and Basic Freshmen Info
- Financial Aid Transfer Guide and Transfer Financial Aid Checklist
- Tips for completing a FAFSA and FAFSA eligibility
* UNM's FAFSA priority date is January 6 with a requirement to have all Additional Documentation submitted by January 31 to remain eligible for priority aid. Students who complete the FAFSA by the FAFSA priority date and have a complete Financial Aid file by the Additional Documentation Submission date are considered first for certain types of limited funding.
Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA on the web as soon after October 1 each year as possible. In order to be considered for financial aid, students must complete the FAFSA every year.