The process for being considered for state financial aid requires two separate steps.
To be considered a Virginia student, the student must demonstrate to the institution that the student meets at least one of the following three provisions:
Students not meeting at least one of these requirements cannot be considered for most state financial aid programs. Contact your institution’s admissions office (at public institutions) or financial aid office (at private institutions) for details.
To apply for most state financial aid programs, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the free Virginia Alternative State Aid (VASA) Application. These applications are used by the U.S. Department of Education and Commonwealth of Virginia, respectively, to collect financial and other information about students and their families to determine their financial need and eligibility for a number of financial aid programs.
Students should only complete one of the applications below, not both.
United States citizens and eligible noncitizens can complete this form to apply for federal and state financial aid.
Only the FAFSA gives you access to federal grants and federal student loans. The FAFSA also provides access to state financial aid.
For more information about the FAFSA, federal student aid eligibility requirements and more, click this link.
Who should file the VASA Application and why? Virginians who are nonimmigrants, undocumented, have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status or are otherwise ineligible to file the FAFSA and would like to be considered for state financial aid.
The VASA application provides access only to state and to some institutional financial aid programs. The VASA application does not provide access to federal student aid.
If you are eligible to complete the FAFSA, complete the FAFSA form. If you complete both forms, the institution will ignore the results of the VASA application and use only the results of the federal FAFSA. Only if you are ineligible to complete the FAFSA should you complete the VASA application.
Also, if you are undocumented or a DACA recipient be aware that state financial aid programs require that if a student is unable to meet the Commonwealth’s domicile requirement, then the student must meet the requirements of the Tuition Equity provision (see below for details) in order to be considered for state aid.
● VASA App Q&A [pdf]
If you have questions about the FAFSA or VASA Application, contact your financial aid office.
For technical assistance with the VASA application, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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