Financial aid awards at FLC

Our office processes all your financial forms to help you get financial assistance for the cost of college.

We also process your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which determines your eligibility for need-based aid, including federal, state, and institutional grants, work-study, and federal loan programs.

The Skyhawk Station, our one-stop-shop for the business of being a college student, will help you with any questions or tasks with your financial aid.

Financial aid FAQ

Do I need to bring any money with me for when classes begin?

Yes, plan to bring some money to cover last minute items you may need.

Financial aid automatically credits your bill when enrolled in 12 credit hours or more (9 credit hours for graduate students). After your bill is paid in full, any extra money will be available to you in a refund. The earliest financial aid can credit towards your bill for the semester is ten days before classes begin.

If you don't have enough money to buy books, supplies or a parking permit, you can add those items to your bill. Your bill is due in full by census day each semester unless you have set up a payment plan.

How do I apply for summer session (module) financial aid?

Fort Lewis College does not have designated aid for summer. Summer financial aid is usually limited to Federal Direct Loans and, in some cases, a Federal Pell Grant.

To be considered for summer financial aid, students should:

  • Be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours during the summer to be considered for Federal Direct Loans
  • Have a valid FAFSA application on file
  • Not be on academic disqualification
  • Not be on financial aid suspension
  • Not have borrowed their annual loan limits
  • Not have reached their lifetime Pell Grant or Federal loan limits

Students MUST consult with the Financial Aid Office before adjusting their summer schedule to avoid having to pay back any of their summer aid.

After registration, the Financial Aid Office will email students starting in April each year with a link to view their summer financial aid package.

How do I check my total loan balance?

Go to studentaid.gov and login using your FSA ID and password (the same username and password you use to fill out the FAFSA).

How do I create an FSA ID?

Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and allows you to sign Federal Student Aid documents electronically.

You will need to create one before submitting a FAFSA application for the first time.  A parent will also need to create one to sign your FAFSA if you are required to put parent information on your FAFSA.

Create your FSA ID.

How do I order a tax return transcript?

The most common verification request is the IRS Tax RETURN Transcript. 

The Financial Aid Office can only accept Federal Tax Return information if it's: 

  • Directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 
  • Hand-signed copies of individual taxpayer tax returns, or
  • Copies from a paid tax preparer if they provide the preparer's name and PTIN number. A tax return with only the preparer's business name and firm's EIN is not acceptable unless the tax filer (student or parent) has also hand-signed the return.

There are three ways a student and/or parent can request a Federal Income Tax Return Transcript from the IRS:

  • Online
  • By mail
  • Over the phone

If they qualify, they can also use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in the students' FAFSA account.

How does the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in FAFSA work?

Students and parents who have filed their current year taxes can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the financial information portion of the FAFSA application. This option is available approximately 2-3 weeks after electronically filing Federal Income Tax returns and 8-11 weeks after mailing Federal Income Tax returns.

Two separate financial information sections on the FAFSA for dependent students exist: students use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for the Student Financial Information section, and parents of dependent students will use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for the Parent Financial Information section.

Steps for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

  1. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool sends the user to the IRS site
  2. Users must then enter the address used on their taxes before any tax information is transferred onto the FAFSA application. After viewing tax data, you will then have the option to "Transfer" the tax information directly to the FAFSA application.

Who can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

Applicants who are completing an initial FAFSA, completing a renewal FAFSA, or making corrections to their initial FAFSA and meet all the following criteria:

  • Must have valid Social Security Number(s)
  • Must have filed an applicable Federal Income Tax Return for the year being requested on the FAFSA
  • Must have an unchanged marital status and did not file separately from their spouse
  • Must not have amended their tax return
  • Must not have filed a foreign tax return
  • Must have a valid FSA ID (username and password) 

What happens if I am selected for verification and do not or cannot use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you must provide our office with an official Federal Income Tax Return Transcript. If you are a dependent student, we will also need a copy of your parent's or parents' Federal Income Tax Transcript.

Tax filers can request Federal Tax Return Transcript information free of charge by:

  • Online request at irs.gov/transcript "Order a Return Transcript."
  • Telephone request by calling 1-800-908-9946
  • Paper request form using IRS Form 4506-T (form on IRS website)

What happens if I haven't filed my taxes yet?

Even if you have not completed your Federal Tax Returns for the applicable tax year, you should complete your FAFSA using tax estimates. Once you file your current Federal Income Tax Returns, you can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your FAFSA with your FSA ID. 

What happens if I am a victim of IRS identity theft and cannot obtain a current Tax Return Transcript?

Tax filers who cannot get an IRS Tax Return Transcript because of IRS identity theft submit a Tax Return DataBase View (TRDBV) instead along with a signed and dated statement indicating that they were victims of tax-related identity theft and that the IRS is aware of it.  will be referred to the Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU), the toll-free number 800-908-4490. 

To get a TRDBV, tax filers should call the Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) at 800-908-4490 and ask them to mail a TRDBV.

How do I sign a FERPA release?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment, helps protect the privacy of student records. The Act provides the right to inspect and review educational records, to seek to amend those records, and limit disclosure of information from the records. The Act applies to all institutions that receive federal funding under any program administered by the Secretary of Education. View the FERPA policy.

Students must sign a FERPA release for the Financial Aid Office to discuss their financial aid file with anyone else.

Fill out the FERPA release form.

What if I haven't filed my tax return(s) yet?

The FAFSA application uses tax information from two years prior to the school year you are applying for. Therefore, you should have tax information available to use. We recommend that you use the IRS Data Retrieval tool (DRT) in the FAFSA application to obtain your tax information. This tool will download your tax information directly from the IRS into your FAFSA application.  If you and/or your parents were not required to file a tax return you will be asked for other verification documents. 

When will I hear from you after I submit my financial file?

We begin processing aid applications for the upcoming school year in December once your student financial aid file is complete and you're admitted to the college. Only new students will receive a mailed letter. All students can view their financial aid award via their WebOPUS account.  

Which types of financial aid get paid back and which types don't?

You pay back loans. You don't pay back scholarships, grants or work-study unless you withdraw before the midpoint of the term and become subject to "Return of Funds" policies.

Why aren't my grants and/or scholarships reflected on my bill?
  • Make sure you are enrolled full-time (minimum of 12 credit hours for undergraduates and 9 credit hours for graduate students). Contact the Skyhawk Station if you don't plan on being a full-time student to get your financial aid package adjusted to part-time.
  • Contact the Skyhawk Station to see if Fort Lewis College has received your FAFSA information and/or a check from your scholarship donor. 
  • Ask the Skyhawk Station about your Satisfactory Academic Progress status.
  • Remember, you must electronically accept the Terms and Conditions of your financial aid on your WebOPUS account.