Applying for Aid

Application Process


All students interested in applying for financial aid must complete the entire Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process after October 1 of each year in order to receive consideration for federal and/or state aid for the upcoming academic year.

The only exception to this requirement is for students applying ONLY for the State Scholarships. HOPE/ZELL applicants should refer to the HOPE Scholarship section of this Web site for the specific instructions on completing the GSFAPPS in lieu of the FAFSA.

The FAFSA application process is used to determine your eligibility for aid such as:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Direct Student Loans
  • Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • HOPE Scholarship
  • Limited funded federal/state campus-based aid such as:
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Work-Study (FWS)

Priority Consideration Deadline Defined

Students can apply for the Federal Pell Grant by completing the FAFSA process any time during the award year. Federal Campus-Based funds (such as the FSEOG and FWS) are limited.

Students who complete the entire application process which consists of submitting the FAFSA, completing the verification process (if selected), furnishing us any other requested documentation (citizenship, Selective Service registration, etc.), will comprise of the initial group of students who receive priority consideration when we award these funds.

If there are funds to award after packaging and after cancellation of awards due to nonattendance or failure to make satisfactory progress, funds are redistributed based on filing date of eligible students who have 0 EFCs. Check the Application Deadlines tab for the current aid year.

When Aid Pays School Charges

If you do not receive your financial aid award by the semester deadlines, you should plan to pay all educational costs. If eligible, you will be reimbursed when you complete the process. Also, if you are awarded student loans, those funds are not available until you have signed your Master Promissory note and completed any required loan entrance counseling. Furthermore, if you have a 30 day delay requirement as a first time borrower, those funds will not be available until 30 days after the first day of classes.  You must have signed your Master Promissory note and completed any required loan entrance counseling in order for these funds to disburse.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Students should electronically complete and submit the FAFSA or your Renewal FAFSA which are available October 1 of each year. Visit the FAFSA on the Web home page at for more information. Students and parents who electronically file make fewer errors and the process is much faster than filing the paper FAFSA. We encourage electronic filers to print and complete the Pre-Application Worksheet prior to completing the Web based FAFSA. You can print the Pre-Application Worksheet from Section 1 of the FAFSA on the Web home page. The Gordon State College Title IV school code is 001575.

Use your name exactly as it appears on your Social Security card. Do not use nicknames, abbreviations, or middle names as first names. The U. S. Dept. of Ed. requires your name on the FAFSA to identically match your name on Social Security Administration records. You will be required to submit additional information if there is a name conflict.

Students applying ONLY for the HOPE Scholarship do not need to complete a FAFSA application. HOPE applicants should refer to the HOPE Scholarship section of the Web site for the specific instructions on completing the GSFAPPS in lieu of the FAFSA.


Those students who submitted a FAFSA for a previous Academic Year will have a username and password from the U. S. Department of Education (U.S. Dept. of Ed.).  If you cannot locate your password , go to the password reset to request a password. Once you change your password, you can then complete and submit the electronic FAFSA. Parents of dependent students also need to have a FSA ID.

Income Tax Returns

When asked to provide Federal Income Tax information on the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA, use completed U.S. Income Tax Return(s). The use of estimated tax information or your failure to complete all required items on the FAFSA will require corrections which can substantially lengthen the aid application process.

Student Aid Report (SAR)

If you provide your email address on your FAFSA, the U.S. Dept. of Ed. Central Processing System (CPS) will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR) e-mail notification containing a direct link to your data on "SAR on the Web". You will receive this notification approximately one to two weeks after submitting your completed FAFSA to the CPS. If you do not provide your e-mail address on your FAFSA, the CPS will send you a paper SAR.  You will receive this document approximately three to four weeks after you submit your complete FAFSA. Review the SAR for accuracy. If the SAR needs corrections, make them on the FAFSA web site (

Application Status for Aid at Gordon State College:  Students who have applied for aid but have not received the electronic notice of their Financial Aid Award can electronically review their financial aid award status by accessing the "Application Status" option under the Student Financial Aid Menu on Banner Web. Application Status will indicate if and what additional information we still need to complete your application process.

Verification Process

Follow these steps to complete the financial aid verification process:

  1. Click on the Personal URL (PURL) in the email you received from Gordon College. (The email will be sent to the email address you listed on your FAFSA and your Gordon Email.)
  2. You will log into the portal with your Gordon network username and password.  Verify your identity by entering your personal information.
  3. Confirm that your personal information is correct, and fill in any blank fields where necessary. Note: Some fields may be auto-filled based on what you listed on your FAFSA. Make sure that your first name field does not have a middle initial or middle name.
  4. If you wish to receive notification emails at an email address different from the one you listed on your FAFSA, enter it in the “Notification Email” field. Otherwise, leave it blank, and you will receive additional notifications at the email address listed on your FAFSA.
  5. If you are a dependent student selected for verification, the Parent Information Box will appear. Enter in the information requested, and click “Next” to continue.

Congratulations! You have now verified your identity, and you can move on to uploading  your documents.  Please be sure to follow the instructions carefully and accurately.

Electronic Financial Aid Awards

Students will be notified via e-mail as to when they may view their electronic financial aid awards. All Gordon State College students are required to have a valid Gordon State College e-mail address.  We use your Gordon e-mail address as the preferred mechanism to electronically notify you of the availability of your current financial aid award.  It is critical that you regularly check your e-mail account and delete old e-mails in order to avoid reaching your disk space capacity; otherwise your electronic Award notification may be rejected by your account.

When you access your electronic award, review all award messages and the information we provide concerning the types of aid included on your award. If your award includes the offer of student loans, you will receive a follow up email with instructions on how to accept the loan via your Banner Web account, and then sign your Master Promissory Note and complete entrance counseling if you are required to do so.

Completion of the Process

IMPORTANT - You have completed the application process once Gordon State has received all of the necessary documentation that is required to process your file. 

Students who meet the general eligibility requirements (including admission into a degree-seeking program) will have their eligibility for aid determined when the FAO has received valid electronic SAR data, and, if selected, all requested verification information.

Application Deadlines

 Summer 2024 Semester: Students need to complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA or the GSFAPPS electronic application* if they have not already done so.
      • Preferred FAFSA Deadline: March 1, 2024
      • Document Deadline: April 1, 2024
    • Fall 2024 Semester: Students need to complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA or the GSFAPPS electronic application* if they have not already done so.
      • Preferred FAFSA Deadline: May 1, 2024
      • Document Deadline: June 1, 2024
    • Spring 2025 Semester: Students need to complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA or the GSFAPPS electronic application* if they have not already done so.
      • Preferred FAFSA Deadline: September 1, 2024
      • Document Deadline: October 1, 2024


*Please note: The GSFAPPS electronic application is only to be completed by students seeking to only apply for the HOPE scholarship. Students wishing to apply for a student loan or be evaluated for other types of financial aid must complete the appropriate FAFSA application.

Students who are selected for verification and submit documentation after these published deadlines may not have their financial aid verified in time to meet published payment deadlines. In this case, a student must be prepared to pay out of pocket and be reimbursed with the aid they are eligible to receive once the verification process is complete. The Gordon State College Business Office publishes scheduled reimbursement deadlines for each semester.

Eligibility Requirements

To receive aid from any federal student aid program offered at Gordon State College, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate financial need, except for some loan programs.
  • Demonstrate by one of the following means that you are qualified to enroll in postsecondary education:
    • Have a High School Diploma or General Education Development (GED) Certificate.
    • Complete a High School education in a home school setting approved under state law.
    • Meet other standards established by your state that we have approved.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program. ( You may not receive aid for correspondence or telecommunication courses unless they are a part of an eligible program).
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number.
  • Meet satisfactory academic progress standards set by the postsecondary school you are or will be attending.
  • Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes and certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant (which could happen if you withdraw from school, for example).
  • Comply with Selective Service registration, if required. If you are a male aged 18 through 25, and haven’t yet registered, you can give the Selective Service permission to register you by checking a box on the FAFSA. You can also register through the Internet at or call 1-847-688-6888. TTY users can call 1-847-688-2567.

When you apply for aid from FSA programs, some of your information is verified with certain federal agencies, including the Social Security Administration (for verification of Social Security Numbers and U.S. citizenship status). If the information doesn't’t match, the discrepancy will have to be resolved for you to receive aid. In addition to other agencies, your information is also checked against the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS) for verification that you don’t have a defaulted federal student loan, didn't’t receive an overpayment on a federal grant, and haven’t borrowed more that the total limit allowed.


To apply for the HOPE or Zell Miller scholarships, use the Georgia Student Financial Aid Application System ( GSFAPPS). Or apply for one of our Foundation Scholarships.

For more information, contact the Office of Financial Aid at or by phone at (678)359-5990. 

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