The 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form is now available.
The FAFSA form for 24–25 became available in late December 2023. Since this is a new application, the site will be unavailable periodically for maintenance.
The Department of Education plans to send your FAFSA data to your selected colleges by the end of January. However, there could be unexpected delays due to this being a newly developed process this year.
Merrimack College anticipates releasing financial aid offers for admitted students in early spring.
Applying for Aid
What is the FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the official form that you use to apply for financial assistance to help pay for college. The FAFSA asks a series of questions about income, assets and other factors, which is then shared with the colleges you’re applying to. The information you supply on the FAFSA determines what type(s) of aid you may qualify for.
Why is the FAFSA important?
The FAFSA determines your eligibility for subsidized federal student loans (which are based on need), unsubsidized federal student loans (which most students qualify for regardless of need), federal grant programs, work-study programs, state-based financial aid, school-based financial aid, scholarships and other aid.
REMEMBER: The FAFSA is not a loan! There is no financial commitment when you file the FAFSA. You’re simply providing colleges with more information to help calculate all the different financial aid options you qualify for such as scholarships, grants, loans, work-study and more. That means your potential aid can come from many different sources so you should still file the FAFSA even if you don’t plan on taking out any loans.
How do I get started?
Before you begin your FAFSA, you will need to create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID for yourself and your parent(s). It’s important that the FSA IDs are registered with different email addresses as this is your official electronic signature for the FAFSA and other important federal documents, such as Loan Entrance/Exit Counseling and Loan Master Promissory Notes. To create a Federal Student Aid ID, go to www.studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account.
When can I apply for financial aid?
Now! Students can file for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at https://studentaid.gov, which is now open.
What is Merrimack's school code?
Merrimack’s federal school code is 002120.
Does it cost anything to file the FAFSA?
Nope—it’s totally free! That’s why it’s called the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (or FAFSA for short!)
How many schools can I add to my FAFSA list?
The FAFSA allows up to 20 school codes at one time, but you can also add more later once your FAFSA has been initially processed. Be sure to add Merrimack’s code (002120) to your list so that we can receive your information!
What are transfer students eligible for?
Transfer students are considered for both need-based and merit-based funds. As stated above, to apply for need-based consideration, including federal and state grants, loans and work programs, applicants must file the FAFSA, available online at https://studentaid.gov.
What happens after I submit?
This information is taken directly from the FAFSA website:
- When you submit your completed 2024–25 FAFSA form, you’ll get an email confirming that we received your form with preliminary information related to your eligibility for federal student aid. This will include your estimated Student Aid Index (SAI) and estimated eligibility for Federal Pell Grants.
- We’ll provide your FAFSA eligibility information to your school(s) and state in late January, so you will have ample time to fill out the form and do not need to rush to complete the form during the soft launch. Once your school(s) receive your FAFSA information, they will provide you with personalized aid information in the coming weeks. Until your school(s) and state receive your form, they won’t be able to answer questions about your aid eligibility or status.
- We’ll send you an email when your FAFSA information has been sent to your selected schools and when you can access your FAFSA Submission Summary on StudentAid.gov. The FAFSA Submission Summary will provide your official SAI calculation and Federal Pell Grant eligibility. You can also check the status of your FAFSA form on StudentAid.gov in late January.
Types of Aid
What is a merit-based scholarship?
Merit-based scholarships are based on a holistic review of a student’s admission record. Notification of scholarship awards are included with acceptance materials.
What is need-based financial aid?
Need-based grants, loans and work programs are available from the federal and state government and Merrimack’s own sources. To apply, students must complete the FAFSA, available at https://studentaid.gov.
What is the process for transfer students?
Transfer scholarships are a combination of need-based and merit-based funds. As stated above, to apply for need-based consideration, including federal and state grants, loans and work programs, applicants must file the FAFSA, available online at https://studentaid.gov.
Do I have to do anything else to get my federal loans?
Students receiving Direct Federal Loans for the first time must complete an online Entrance Counseling session and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). Log on to studentaid.gov using your FSA ID and password to complete this process. In addition, there is a Title IV Credit Authorization form, which is available online, through your MyMack account.
- You don’t need to do it all in one sitting; maybe plan for 30 minutes to get started.
- Use a personal email address; school email addresses typically end after you graduate and could prevent you from accessing your FAFSA later.
- Write down your student and parent FSA IDs and passwords, and keep them in a safe place; you will need them the following year.
- File the FAFSA for your future academic year; if you are starting college in Fall 2024, then you’ll want to file the 2024–2025 FAFSA.
- Be sure to include your Social Security Number on your Common App; that is the only way your FAFSA and application will match in the system!