Applying for Aid

Shiloh University strives to keep its educational costs as low as possible for students. If students have additional financial need beyond what they and their parents can provide, Shiloh University’s Financial Aid Office (SU FAO) will make every effort to assist them in obtaining funds.Below you will find information about filing the FAFSA, eligibility requirements, federal verification requirements, and more. If you are having trouble finding what you are looking for, try using the search function on this site or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Filing the FAFSA

Students must apply for financial aid each year by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid available on the FAFSA website. Financial aid awarded by the SU FAO is not automatically renewed.

The 2020-2021 FAFSA will be available to complete on October 1, 2019. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to ensure that the process is completed in a timely manner and that certain first-come, first-serve aid opportunities are still available. Priority consideration will be given by the SU FAO to students whose FAFSA record has been received by Shiloh University on or before March 1, 2020. When filling out the FAFSA be sure to indicate Shiloh University (Federal School Code 042596) as your desired school.

Beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, income information will be based on tax information from two years in the past. When completing the 2020-2021 FAFSA, the SU FAO recommends that you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer 2018 tax information directly from the IRS onto the FAFSA.

Also see Filing the FAFSA: Instructions and Tips for more information.

Student Aid Report

Approximately one week after submitting your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) the federal processor will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR) notifying you that they have processed your FAFSA information. If you provided an email address on your FAFSA, you will be sent an email informing you how to obtain your SAR online. If you did not provide an email address, you will be mailed a paper SAR.  If you do not receive a SAR within three weeks of submitting your FAFSA, call the federal processor at 1-800-433-3243.

Review your SAR for correctness:

  • If there is an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) amount listed at the top right of the SAR, Shiloh University is listed, and your social security number is correct, the federal processor will send your information electronically to the Shiloh University Financial Aid Office (SU FAO).  Keep the SAR for your records.
  • If Shiloh University is not listed, please contact the Financial Aid office and supply the University with your Data Release Number. This can be found on the top right of the first page of your SAR.
  • If there is no EFC amount listed, correct the information on the SAR. Part 2 of the SAR provides instructions on how to make corrections.
    • If you have a paper SAR, mail the corrected SAR to the address listed on the back of the SAR.
    • If you are making corrections to the SAR information online, you will submit the corrections electronically. After submitting your corrections, you will receive a corrected SAR from the federal processor.

Determining Eligibility

After a student is admitted to the University and has submitted the FAFSA, the student’s financial aid eligibility is determined. Eligibility is based on a number of factors including:

  • Being a citizen or permanent resident of the United States (for federal and state financial aid programs). International students are not eligible for Federal Student Aid
  • Having a financial need as determined by the US Department of Education
  • Enrollment in a University degree program (Certificate, Non-Degree, and Personal Enrichment students are not eligible for Federal Aid)
  • Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress including being enrolled at least part time (4 credit hours per trimester for undergraduate students, 3 credit hours per trimester for graduate students)
  • Neither being in default on an educational loan nor owing a refund on a grant received at any institution.
  • Registration with the Selective Service (the draft) if you are male, at least 18 years old, and were born after December 31, 1961.
  • Not having been convicted of possession or selling of illegal drugs.
  • See a complete list of the rights and responsibilities each student has as part of maintaining aid eligibility.

If your FAFSA was selected for federal verification by the U.S. Department of Education, you will also need to complete a verification form and may need to obtain tax information directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Financial Need

A student’s financial need is determined by subtracting their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from their Estimated Cost of Attendance (COA).

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a Federal government estimate of the amount a student and their family can contribute to the cost of the student’s education. The EFC is calculated by the federal processor each year based on information supplied on your FAFSA.

Note that, while it is the primary responsibility of you as a student and your family to pay for education, the EFC is only an estimate of the amount you and your parents can theoretically contribute. It is not an amount for which you and/or your parents will be billed by the University. The EFC is an index number used for determining eligibility for need-based Federal Student Aid.

To obtain an estimate of your EFC prior to filing the FAFSA, use the College Board’s EFC Calculator.

Cost of Attendance (COA) is a University estimate of how much it will cost a student to attend school. This number includes set tuition and fees (which will be billed to you by the University) as well as an estimate of living expenses while in attendance. Information is available for University:

Despite being a 100% online institution, Shiloh University is required to choose a specific location on which it bases housing and meals costs. The University selected the closest urban center to its administrative offices, Iowa City. Actual expenses will vary considerably depending on student’s location and spending habits.

Financial Need is the amount remaining after subtracting EFC from COA. Your amount of financial need determines what available aid programs you are eligible for. Students whose financial need has not been fully met or those who do not qualify for need-based aid because their EFC is greater than their estimated COA may be eligible for non–need-based loans. These loans will be offered on the student’s award notification.

If you are a dependent student and your parents request the Federal Direct PLUS loan, the amount of the PLUS loan could be more than the parental contribution because the PLUS loan can replace the student and parent contribution and remaining need after other aid has been awarded.

Award Notification

After the University receives your FAFSA information from the US Department of Education, your potential aid will be packaged and you will be emailed an award notification. The award notification lists the maximum eligibility for each of the funds offered based on the student’s application and eligibility information. Financial aid awards are subject to change based on federal regulations, institutional policy, financial need, student enrollment, and/or the student receiving assistance from other sources.

When you receive this notification you are responsible for the following:

  • Accept the award notification: Print the received award notification, review the amount offered, sign the document, and return it via email (scanned signed copy).Loan Reduction or Cancellation: The University Financial Aid Office encourages students to evaluate their budget and resources each trimester and only borrow the loan amount needed. If you decide you do not need the full loan award offered, you may reduce or decline the loan. If you choose to reduce the loan amount, legibly write the reduced amount directly below the awarded amount on your signed award notification. If you choose to decline the award offer, this can be communicated via email; you do not have to return a signed award notification.
  • First-time borrowers will also need to submit a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete loan entrance counseling.

If you are receiving other financial aid not listed on your award notification, you must disclose this to the SU FAO. Federal financial aid regulations require that all financial aid and educational resources (i.e., awards, prizes) must fit within your financial need and/or cost of attendance. If the SU FAO becomes aware of additional financial aid or other educational resources, the financial aid that was awarded by the SU FAO may be reduced or cancelled.

If a student has not been notified of their award within three weeks of submitting their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), they should contact the SU FAO at

Master Promissory Note (MPN)

To simplify the loan process for students/parents, the federal government uses a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for the most common loans. The MPN makes it possible for students to use the same note for up to ten years. This speeds up the process in each subsequent year since the note(s) usually must be completed and approved only in the initial year.

Completing the MPN does not require the student/parent to borrow the loan(s).  The borrower will be notified of their loan eligibility each year on the student’s financial aid award notification.  The student/parent will then be given the opportunity to decline or reduce any loans.

MPNs can be completed on the FAFSA website for the following loans:

  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS (parent) Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS (graduate and professional student) Loan

If you are unsure if you need to complete an MPN, contact the University Financial Aid Office.

Note regarding Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Master Promissory Notes: Parents who are first-time borrowers of the Federal Direct PLUS Loan also must complete an electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN) to receive the funds. In most cases, the parent will be required to complete the MPN only once during their student’s years in college. If the parent borrower is ineligible because of an adverse credit history, the parent may obtain an endorser for the loan. If an endorser is required, the Financial Aid Office must have a new MPN completed for each loan.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Shiloh University’s Financial Aid Office, in partnership with students (and students’ parents) provides federal funds to help defray the cost of education. Student financial aid recipients have a number of responsibilities and rights.

As a student financial aid recipient, it is your responsibility to:

  • Reapply for financial aid each year by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submitting all required documents to the SU FAO. Financial aid is not automatically renewed each year.
  • Complete and submit application materials within required or preferred timeframes.
  • Provide additional documentation or information as requested by the SU FAO.
  • Read and understand all materials sent to you from the SU FAO and keep copies of all forms you sign.
  • Comply with the provisions of any promissory note and all other agreements you sign.
  • Know and comply with the federal rules governing the financial aid you receive. This information is on the FAFSA and on the SU FAO web site. These rules include, but are not limited to, not being in default on any prior educational loan and not owing a refund on a federal grant due to repayment.
  • Report other sources of student financial aid to the SU FAO.
  • Use student financial aid proceeds solely for direct educational costs and related living expenses.
  • Complete the class registration process each semester by the end of the official last day to late register or add courses in order to ensure availability of all student financial aid funds you have been awarded. Some aid programs may be subject to cancellation or reduction if your registration process is not completed by the official last day to late register or add courses.
  • Know the implications that dropping a course or withdrawing from the University will have on your student financial aid.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
  • Keep your address current with the Registrar’s Office.
  • Check the email account you indicated as your primary student address often, since some information and requests are sent via email.
  • Pay all previous trimester charges appearing on your University account statements before financial aid is disbursed for the current trimester.

As a student financial aid recipient, you have the right to:

  • Know the correct procedures for applying for student financial aid, your cost of attendance, and the types of aid available.
  • Know how financial need is determined, what the criteria are for awarding financial aid, how reasonable academic progress is determined, and what you have to do to continue receiving aid.
  • Know the type and amount of assistance you will receive, how much of your financial need has been met, and how and when you will receive your financial aid funds.
  • View the contents of your student financial aid file, in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Know the conditions of any loan you accept.
  • Appeal any decision with the SU FAO in regard to your financial aid application.

Federal Verification

If your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was selected for federal verification by the U.S. Department of Education, you will need to work with the Shiloh University Financial Aid Office (SU FAO) to complete the verification process. This may include obtaining tax information directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You will be notified on your Student Aid Report and by the SU FAO via email if your FAFSA is selected.

You will receive information regarding your verification requirements from SU FAO via email, after which you will have 30 days to submit all required documentation to the SU FAO. Documentation will be reviewed and, if necessary, FAFSA corrections will be made by the University. If your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) or amount of award is changed based on verification documentation, this will be disclosed to you via email before any funds are awarded. You may still receive an award notification; however, your financial aid award will not be finalized and funds will not be disbursed until the verification process is complete.

To obtain verification of income from the IRS, you will need to either use the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool or submit a Tax Return Transcript to our office. A Tax Return Transcript must be obtained from the IRS and is different than the Federal 1040 tax return you submit to the IRS.

Often, the easiest way to obtain the IRS tax information is for you to update your FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you filed your tax return electronically, you will need to wait approximately three weeks after filing before the IRS Data Retrieval Tool option is available to you. If you mail a paper tax return to the IRS, you will need to wait approximately eight weeks.

If you filed an amended tax return, submit the following two documents to our office:

  • Tax Return Transcript of the original tax return from the IRS (see instructions below)
  • Signed copy of IRS Form 1040X that was submitted to the IRS

IRS Data Retrieval for FAFSA Corrections

  1. Open the FAFSA on the Web Federal Student Aid website in a web browser and login as a returning user.
  2. After logging on to the appropriate year FAFSA, select the “Make FAFSA Corrections” link.
  3. Select the “Financial Information” tab.
  4. Answer the questions presented. They will be prefilled with answers, so change them if necessary.
  5. If you are eligible to use the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will be presented with the option to link to the IRS’s website.
  6. After you answer all the questions on the IRS website, you will be brought back to your FAFSA screen. Scroll to the bottom, click “next”, and follow the directions.
  7. Make sure you submit the corrections and sign your FAFSA using your FSA ID (previously Federal PIN).

After you have completed the FAFSA IRS data retrieval, the Office of Student Financial Aid will receive a new FAFSA record in approximately one week.

Getting Help

Call the FAFSA hotline at 800-433-3243 if you need assistance obtaining the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

Note: The IRS Data Retrieval Tool cannot be used if the tax return filer is married and filed their tax return as either head of household or married filing separately or filed an amended tax return.

Obtaining a Tax Return Transcript

  • If you are applying for financial aid for the 2019-2020 academic year, you will need to obtain a 2017 Tax Return Transcript
  • There are several ways to obtain the Tax Return Transcript:
    • The IRS “Get Transcript” webpage:
      • Click on the “Get Transcript ONLINE” button to immediately view, print, or download your tax return transcript.
      • Click on the “Get Transcript by MAIL” button to request that the IRS mail your tax return transcript to you. It will take five to ten days for you to receive the tax return transcript(s) from the IRS.
    • The IRS automated phone transcript service at 800-908-9946.
  • If you have problems obtaining your tax return transcript from the IRS website, view their Tax Transcript Frequently Asked Questions Web page for additional instructions or call the IRS at 800-829-1040.
  • After you receive the tax return transcript(s), write the student’s name and SU ID number in the top right corner and submit it to the University Financial Aid Office as soon as possible.

Note: A Tax Return Transcript must be obtained from the IRS and is different than a federal tax return. A Tax Return Transcript shows most of the items from your tax return as it was originally filed. It does not reflect any changes made after the return was filed. Alternately, a Tax Account Transcript shows basic information and any adjustments made after the tax return was filed.

Obtaining a Verification of Non-Filing Letter

Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, if the student and/or parent(s) did not and will not file a federal tax return, a Verification of Non-filing Letter must be obtained from the IRS for each non-filer. (If the student and both parents did not and will not file a federal tax return, three Verification of Non-Filing Letters must be obtained). For the 2019-2020 academic year, the Verification of Non-Filing Letter must be for the calendar year 2017.

The Verification of Non-Filing Letter can be obtained from the IRS website using the IRS “Get Transcript” webpage using one of the Get Transcript options. If you cannot obtain one online, you can request one by completing the IRS Form 4506-T and faxing/mailing it to the IRS.

If you have trouble obtaining your Verification of Non-filing Letter, call the IRS at 800-829-1040, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA

  1. Open the FAFSA on the Web Federal Student Aid website in a web browser and login as a returning user.
  2. After logging on to the appropriate year FAFSA, select the “Financial Information” tab.
  3. Answer the questions presented.
  4. If you are eligible to use the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will be presented with the option to link to the IRS’s website.
  5. After you answer all the questions on the IRS website, you will be brought back to your FAFSA screen.
  6. After answering all questions, make sure you submit and sign your FAFSA using your FSA ID (previously Federal PIN).