Financial Aid Application Process

Applying for Financial Aid is not as complex as you might think!  In hopes of giving you a good understanding of how the application process works and what to expect from RMU, we’ve outlined the most important steps and need to know information below.   When it comes to cost and the financial aid process, RMU takes pride in transparency and our ability to assist families navigate all aspects of the process.  We welcome as many questions as you may have along the way.

Stay Tuned for a Better FAFSA Experience – Coming December 2023

As part of the FAFSA Simplification Act passed by Congress, an easier, more streamlined FAFSA is on the way.  Applicants will experience a brand-new look, fewer questions, and simplified language.  In short, it’s going to give users a better experience! An expansion to the Federal PELL Grant program is also anticipated!   

While Federal Student Aid prepares for the launch of the new FAFSA, the opening filing date will be delayed from October 1, until December 2023. An official release date has not yet been provided.

We plan to keep you informed with updates as they come, however, you can keep track here:


Q&A's On The New FAFSA

Is there anything I can do now to prepare for the FAFSA delay?

Yes!  A good first step would be to apply for all necessary FSA ID’s. All contributors to the FAFSA (students, parents, spouses) will need their own individual FSA ID. This means that if two parents are listed on the FAFSA, both will need an FSA ID for 2024-25.

Create your Federal Student Aid Account (FSA ID)

What major changes will the new FAFSA introduce?

Besides having a new streamlined look and feel, here’s other key changes:

  • The term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is being retired and replaced with the Student Aid Index (SAI). Similar to the EFC, the SAI is simply an index number that is used to determine financial need and aid eligibility.
  • Any individual whose information is required on the FAFSA will be referred to as a Contributor. Being a contributor does not mean you’re financially responsible for the student’s educational costs, however, if a required Contributor does not provide appropriate information, consent, and signature, the student will be ineligible for federal aid
  • Once the student starts the FAFSA, they’ll be prompted to initiate an invite to their contributors. The contributor will receive an invite via email, which will prompt them to access the FAFSA form for completion and consent. This means that students and parents will need to log-in to the FAFSA separately to complete each of their respective sections. To ensure a smooth process, you should be prepared with the contributor’s legal name, date of birth, social security number, and email address.
  • The new FAFSA will introduce an enhanced Direct Data Exchange of federal tax information from the IRS. Contributors to the FAFSA must provide consent to transfer data from the IRS to the FAFSA. If not, the FAFSA will be invalid.
  • The FAFSA will no longer take the number of household members attending college into the equation when determining financial need. RMU has you covered though! We’ll offer first time, freshmen applicants a $3,000 scholarship if another household member is enrolled in college, as determined by the FAFSA. For this consideration, a FAFSA must be filed.
  • Students will be able to add up to 20 schools to their FAFSA. This is up from 10 in years past, so there’s no reason not to include all schools you may have some interest in attending.
What can I expect once I’m finally able to file?

After the FAFSA is filed, you’ll receive confirmation directly from the US Department of Education. RMU will receive the record within about a week after submission, and will usually start the financial aid packaging process for accepted students shortly thereafter. It is our hope to begin the financial aid packaging process as soon as possible after the new year.

Financial aid packages are mailed home, plus made available for viewing through the student’s online portal, Banner Self Service. *Graduate, doctorate, and fully online students receive an email notice only.

Do I have to file a FAFSA?

No, but….

Without the FAFSA, we cannot review students for all potential aid sources. This not only includes federal and state aid, but also additional RMU funded scholarship and grant aid beyond the Merit Scholarship you may have already received. Each year, we have students and families pleasantly surprised by the outcome of the FAFSA and resulting financial aid eligibility. Please do not miss this very important step!

Is there a deadline?

For prime financial aid consideration, we recommend you file as soon as possible after the 2024-25 FAFSA form becomes available in December. Pennsylvania residents should be aware of the state’s annual May 1 deadline. Any FAFSA filed after that date will not be reviewed for state grant eligibility.