Applying for financial aid should not be a complicated and worrisome process. As an accredited learning institution, Kaplan University can help qualified students apply for- and receive Title IV federal financial aid for many of our degree programs.*
On this page, you will find detailed step-by-step information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process. Additionally, the Getting Started With Financial Aid PDF will help you track your progress through each of the steps.
Note: Kaplan University's School Code is 004586 for online students. Please see Step 2 below for campus and learning center school codes.
How to Obtain Your FSA ID
Your U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid Identification (FSA ID) account will be used as your electronic signature. It allows you to electronically sign your FAFSA, check its status online, and access your account information. Getting your FSA ID is the first necessary step to in the financial aid process.
To obtain your FSA ID, go to the Department of Education FSA ID registration website and click "Create an FSA ID." Simply complete the application and submit it. You can choose to instantly view your FSA ID online, receive an email with your FSA ID information, or have your FSA ID information sent by mail within 7- to 10 days. Once you receive it, use it to sign your application and keep it in a secure place. Only you can create your FSA ID using your personal information. Do not share your FSA ID with anyone.
Financial Aid for Non-U.S. Citizens
Aid From Your Home Country Contact the cultural section of your country’s embassy or ministry of education to inquire about financial aid options and their requirements.
Aid From the U.S. Government The majority of U.S. government financial assistance is not available to international students. The U.S. government does provide aid to students from specific countries—you can get more information from your embassy or the U.S. State Department.
Complete Your FAFSA
The FAFSA is used to apply for federal student financial aid such as the Pell Grant, student loans, and federal work-study. Completing the FAFSA is essential to determining your financial aid eligibility.
Once you have your FSA ID, go to the FAFSA website to fill out your application. Please note:
If you plan to attend college between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, you will need to complete the 2017–2018 FAFSA using income and tax information from 2015.
If you have previously completed your 2016–2017 FAFSA for another institution, all you will need to do is add the Kaplan University school code listed below.
Helpful tips to successfully complete your FAFSA
You will be asked to provide your high school completion status for question #26 on your FAFSA. Please select one of the following: high school diploma, GED, homeschooled, or none of the above. Do not leave this question blank.
You will be asked, "Do you want to sign your application now by using your FSA ID?" Choose "yes" if you have already set up your FSA ID or "no" if you have not requested an FSA ID or are waiting for it to arrive. (If you select "no," you can still complete a FAFSA, go back later when you receive your FSA ID, and sign your FAFSA electronically.)
You will be asked for a school code. Kaplan University's school codes are as follows:
Online students use 004586 (Davenport, Iowa)
Augusta Location: E02181
Cedar Falls Campus: E00920
Cedar Rapids Campus: 004220
Council Bluffs Campus: E01153
Davenport Campus: 004586
Des Moines Campus: E00925
Hagerstown Campus: 007946
Indianapolis Learning Center: 00458600
Lewiston Campus: E01190
Lincoln Campus: 004721
Mason City Campus: E00926
Milwaukee Learning Center: 00458600
Omaha Campus: 008491
Rockville Learning Center: 00458600
St. Louis Campus: 00458600
Once you have completed the application:
Use your FSA ID to electronically sign your FAFSA.
Click on "Submit My FAFSA Now."
After you submit your FAFSA, you will receive a submission confirmation page. We recommend you print this and save it for your records. Very important: If you do not print/copy the submission page at this time, you will be unable to access it for 24 to 72 hours. If you have chosen to sign without an FSA ID, you will not be able to access this page until you have your FSA ID.
After you submit your FAFSA
Immediately after you submit your FAFSA, you will be presented with the Web Submission Confirmation page. Copy and paste your confirmation page into an email and send it to your Admissions Advisor. If you prefer, you can also print out this page and fax it to your Admissions Advisor. Based on your FAFSA results, the Financial Aid Office will then put together your estimated financial aid award.
How to correct errors in your FAFSA
You should receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) via email in approximately 1 week. If you did not provide an email address, a paper (SAR) will be sent via regular mail to the address provided in the FAFSA. This could take up to 6 weeks. Your SAR will be ready to view on the FAFSA website 3 days after your FAFSA submission. This report will state your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), restate what you put on the FAFSA, and give you the opportunity to correct wrong information. If you make corrections to your application, the Financial Aid Office will then revise your financial aid award and send you a copy for your review. The revised award letter will tell you what financial aid you are eligible to receive after the changes have been made.
Materials needed to fill out a FAFSA
Driver's license and Social Security card
Income tax returns
W-2 forms and other records of money earned
Current bank statements
Records and documentation of other untaxed income, such as welfare benefits, Social Security income, veteran's benefits, AFDC, or military or clergy allowances
Records of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments
Business or farm records (if applicable)
Your FSA ID
How to avoid errors when completing your FAFSA
Do not leave a field blank.
Use the 1040 federal income tax return form, not the W-2 form, for reporting income and taxes paid.
Do not use nicknames, use your legal name as it appears on your Social Security card.
Do not forget to sign your FAFSA. Your parents must also sign it if you are a dependent student.
Loan Entrance Counseling Quiz
The U.S. Department of Education requires that all students seeking to borrow under the Federal Stafford Loan program participate in loan entrance counseling before receiving funds.To help you satisfy this requirement, visit the Direct Loans website. Please note, to complete this Entrance Counseling, you will need your FSA ID to access your loan.
During entrance counseling, you will learn about the following:
What a Direct Loan is and how the loan process works
Managing your education expenses
Other financial resources to consider to help pay for your education
Your rights and responsibilities as a borrower
For more information, please visit the Department of Education's website.
Master Promissory Note
Now you are ready to obtain and sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN). All financial aid-seeking students must complete an MPN. You must do this before you can receive your loan. The MPN should be completed electronically via www.studentloans.gov.
The MPN is a binding contract between you and your lender. The document states your obligation to repay your financial aid loans. The MPN can be used for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans and for one or more academic years (up to 10 years).
To receive your loans without delay, your MPN must be completed as soon as possible. This MPN will be used for all of your loans over multiple academic years. More information on how to complete your MPN can be found on the student loans page of this site.
FAFSA verification process
Verification is a process used to ensure accuracy of the information supplied on the FAFSA. Approximately 30 percent of the students who complete the FAFSA are randomly selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education.
Read about helpful FAFSA Tips and related verification errors.
How to find out if your application is selected for verification
To find out if you are selected for verification, read the comments on the first page of your Student Aid Report (SAR) sent to you by the Department of Education. If you have not received your SAR, you can check it online. Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and open your financial aid application or contact your Financial Aid Advisor as soon as possible.
What to do if your FAFSA is selected for verification
If you receive notification that you have been selected for verification, contact your Financial Aid Advisor if you have any questions. Next, you should collect copies of documents that the Financial Aid Office requests. There are a few common documents that will always be required to complete verification. In some cases, these documents will be enough; in other cases, your Financial Aid Advisor will contact you for additional information.
Common Required Forms
Dependent or Independent Verification Worksheet
Copy of your official federal tax return transcript. You can obtain your federal tax return transcript online or through phone/fax. You will need your Social Security number (SSN) or your Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), date of birth, and address from your latest tax return.
Learn About C Codes
When the U.S. Department of Education processes a FAFSA, the processor may place a C code on the applicant's Student Aid Report (SAR). This code acts as an alert for the student and the Financial Aid Office to indicate that the student cannot receive aid until a given issue is resolved.
Common C Codes
If you are notified that you are not entitled to Title IV student loans because your application for financial aid states that you are in default, usually, if you make six consecutive payments on your defaulted student loan debt, the lender will provide you with a default clearance letter. You can then forward it to the Kaplan University Financial Aid Office. After our review and approval, you will regain eligibility to receive Title IV funds.
If you have already paid your loans but your status still shows you are in default, contact your lender or the Department of Education at 800-433-3243 (Toll Free) and ask them to provide you with your default clearance letter.
An overpayment means that you received grant funds in excess of your eligibility. When the NSLDS indicates that you have received at least one overpayment of federal student aid funds, you are required to repay the excess. You are not eligible to receive any federal student aid until your overpayment is resolved.
To resolve a Pell overpayment issue, call the Department of Education at 800-621-3115 (Toll Free). They will provide you with options to clear this issue. Once your overpayment is cleared, the Department of Education will provide you with an overpayment clearance letter that you can submit to the Kaplan University Financial Aid Office. After our review and approval, you will be again entitled to receive Title IV funds.
According to your school level (graduate or undergraduate), there is an established amount of funds you can borrow during a lifetime. If you are close to reaching the limit or have exceeded it, you might not be able to borrow more to help you cover the cost of your tuition.
You can check the status of your file and the history of your student loans by visiting the NSLDS. If you have exceeded your loan limit, we have other options available to help you cover the cost of your tuition. Ask your Financial Aid Advisor about alternative loan options to fund your education.
Permanently Discharged Student Loans
Students who in the past had their loans discharged for medical conditions are not entitled to receive Title IV aid unless an official doctor’s certification is submitted, which states that the student has the ability to engage in substantial gainful activity, along with a signed personal statement, which states that as a student, you are aware that the new FSA loan cannot be discharged later for any present impairment unless it deteriorates so that you are again totally or permanently disabled.
Request More Information
To receive the Kaplan University Program Guide, including areas of study and associated career paths, please complete this information form.
*Financial aid is available to those who qualify. Eligibility is based on U.S. Department of Education criteria and is determined from data submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students have the right and ability to choose any lender they wish, and the University does not require that any loans be obtained from any particular lender or source.