How Financial Aid Works

If You Are ...

... an Enrolled Undergraduate Student (Including Students in Undergraduate Professional Programs)

If you are currently attending any Ohio State campus, you can file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Application for Special Scholarships online. These applications are available after January 1, and must be completed and submitted by February 15.

Note: over 90% of applicants now file their FAFSA's electronically, and we strongly encourage you to file online. If you prefer to file a paper FAFSA, however, you may print it from the Department of Education's website.

You may apply for need-based scholarships and grants, cooperative scholarship housing, loans, and the Federal Work-Study program by filing the FAFSA. Each college has a number of special scholarships available only to applicants in that college or department; contact your college office for details and application procedures. The Application for Special Scholarships is required if you are not filing the FAFSA but want to be considered for academic-only scholarships, or if you are a FAFSA filer who wants to be considered for special-eligibility scholarships.

Currently enrolled students who attend another institution on a transient basis and receive aid must report the amounts received to our office as soon as possible. Receiving aid at another school may affect your financial aid eligibility at Ohio State. In some cases, you may be billed for money you are no longer eligible to receive.

... an Entering Freshman or Undergraduate Transfer Student

Please review our web site for information on all forms of aid as you consider applying for admission. Some scholarships can only be awarded if students identify themselves as being eligible. To review eligibilty criteria for these scholarships and to apply, please see Applying for Scholarships. Note that some special eligibility scholarships require the FAFSA and/or a personal statement. More documentation may be required later. See Important Dates & Deadlines for priority deadline dates. Additionally, you will need to file the FAFSA to apply for need-based programs and state and federal aid programs. Any student can complete the FAFSA on the web at www.fafsa.ed.gov. We encourage you to apply online. The FAFSA can also be obtained from your high-school counselor or, for transfer students, from the financial aid office of your current college or university.

Although you may not be informed of your admission decision prior to your financial aid priority deadline, you should, however, still apply for financial aid by that priority deadline. While the priority deadline for transfer students is June 1, it is strongly recommended that you apply as early as possible. You must apply by February 15 to be considered for special-eligibility scholarships.

... an Extended Education Student or Graduate Student in a Non-Degree-Granting Program

If you are enrolled at least half-time in Extended Education (6 hours) or a graduate non-degree-granting program (4 hours) and you are taking courses necessary for acceptance in an Ohio State program leading to a degree (undergraduate, graduate, or professional), you can be considered for Federal Direct Loans (except for Graduate PLUS Loans), the University Loan, and some scholarships. If you have a bachelor's degree and are enrolled at least half-time taking courses for teacher licensure, you can also be considered for Federal Direct Loans. See loans for maximum loan borrowing and eligibility limits. You must submit verification that you are taking courses required to be admitted to a degree program at Ohio State or for teacher licensure. You can get a copy of the Non-Degree-Granting Program Certification Form and the Verification of Previous Non-Degree-Granting Program Aid Form from the SFA website. You may also obtain both forms from the Student Service Center.

... a Graduate Student

You may obtain information about fellowships and assistantships through the Graduate School or your academic department. Information on Short-Term and Long-Term University Loans, as well as Federal Direct Loans, is available at the Student Financial Aid. On- and off-campus employment opportunities are also posted by SFA. There is a limited number of scholarships open to graduate students.

File the FAFSA if you want to be considered for Federal Direct Loans and University Loans. File the Application for Special Scholarships to be considered for any special-eligibility scholarships for which you may be eligible. These applications are available after January 1 and must be completed and submitted by February 15 for consideration for scholarships.

Although you may not be informed of your admission decision prior to the financial aid priority deadline, you should, however, still apply for financial aid by that priority deadline.

... a Professional Student

If you are currently in one of the professional colleges or schools (Law, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Optometry, or Veterinary Medicine), you can file the FAFSA and the Application for Special Scholarships online. These applications are available after January 1 and must be completed and submitted by February 15.

If you are applying for admission to one of these professional colleges or schools, you may not be informed of your admission decision prior to the financial aid priority deadline.  You should, however, still apply for financial aid by that priority deadline. Applicants are usually notified by June of their financial aid awards for the upcoming year.

... an International Student

Eligibility for most financial aid requires that you be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. If you are entering the country on a student visa, you should contact the Office of International Affairs, The Ohio State University, 300 Oxley Hall, 1712 Neil Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1230, to find out about financial aid resources.

... a Student-Athlete

The Student Financial Aid assists student-athletes through Athletics Aid Administration. If you are a student-athlete, you may contact the Student Financial Aid with specific questions regarding your eligiblity.

Institutional financial aid and awards from outside sources may count in your or the team's full grant-in-aid limit. All student-athletes must report all scholarships and awards from their high schools, booster clubs, communities or other outside sources to Athletics Aid Administration before each school year begins. Student-athletes should also discuss any outside awards with their head coach to be certain their coach is aware of aid that could affect the team grant-in-aid limit.