Federal Financial Aid

Process overview for federal financial aid:

  1. Establish eligibility for federal aid—complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  2. Federal financial aid falls into two categories:
    • Federal grants: based on financial need with no repayment (Pell)
    • Federal loans: Title IV Loans, Direct Stafford Student Loan with a fixed low interest (Stafford and PLUS)
  3. Complete the federal financial aid application procedure—follow these detailed steps.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Complete the FAFSA form online. This will be used to calculate your eligibility for aid from non-federal sources, including Excelsior College scholarships.

The Excelsior financial aid office can help simplify the process of completing the FAFSA. Call us at 855-323-9235.

FAFSA changes starting with the 2017-18 academic year:

  • You may file a 2017-18 FAFSA now, rather than waiting until Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date is a permanent change, enabling you to complete and submit a FAFSA as early at Oct. 1 every year.
  • Beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA, you must report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017-18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) must report their 2015 income information rather than their 2016 income information.

FAFSA year you should file as an Excelsior College student:

If a term start date falls within this timeframe

Use these corresponding Excelsior College Terms

To submit this FAFSA

Using income and tax information from

August 22, 2016 –
August 20, 2017

Fall I – Fall II
Spring I – Spring II
Summer I – Summer II



August 21, 2017 –
August 27, 2018

Not currently open



August 28, 2018 –
August 26, 2019

Not currently open



Unusual Enrollment History

Some FAFSA applications will be flagged for "unusual enrollment history" by the U.S. Department of Education as a result of the student having received federal Pell Grants and Direct Loans at multiple institutions in recent years.

Read the details

Application Procedure for Federal Financial Aid

1. Qualifying

You must be an enrolled Excelsior College student with course approvals for Excelsior College courses from your Excelsior academic advisor to qualify for financial aid through Excelsior.

Complete Your FAFSA First

Start Your Study Plan – Enrolled students can use our online Financial Aid Study Plan form to get started. You can also find the link to it from MyExcelsior under My Details in the My Financial Matters section.

Access Your Financial Aid Info Online

Go to MyExcelsior and under My Details you can manage the following from the My Financial Matters section:

• Complete your Excelsior College Financial Aid Study Plan
• Check the status of your application
• View a list of documents we received from you and those that are still outstanding
• Once you have been awarded, view your financial aid awards per term
• Accept or decline awards
• View messages
• Check the status of your disbursements for the current year

2. Application

Conditions of Title IV federal financial aid at Excelsior College:

  • Must have a High School Diploma or GED
  • Must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible program of study at Excelsior College (Please Note: Examination based programs like AAS – Nursing and AS – Nursing are not eligible programs)
  • Must maintain half time status (6 credits for undergraduate and 3 credits for graduate)
  • Must be pursuing degree or approved certificate
  • Must be a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Must be registered with Selective Service (if male and required)
  • May not have eligibility suspended or terminated due to being convicted of a drug-related offense
  • Must have a valid Social Security Number (SSN)
  • May not be in default on a federal student loan (More information at the National Student Loan Data System
  • Must not owe an overpayment of federal grant or loan funds
  • Must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as outlined in the Excelsior College Student Policy Handbook (PDF)

How to Apply for Title IV financial aid:

First, you need to set up your free MyExcelsior account if you don't have one yet.

Then complete the online FAFSA form. The Excelsior College federal code used for this application is 014251.

Information about what you will need to complete the FAFSA is available at Student Aid on the Web.

After you have applied for financial aid you can access your financial aid information at MyExcelsior. From your MyExcelsior Financial Aid section you can:

  • Complete your Excelsior College Financial Aid Study Plan
  • Check the status of your application
  • View a list of documents we've received from you and that are still outstanding
  • View your financial aid awards per term (once you have been awarded)
  • Accept and/or decline awards
  • View messages
  • Check the status of your disbursements for the current year

Verification worksheets can be completed and signed online.

All required verification forms can be located in the My Financial Matters section of your MyExcelsior My Details page  once your FAFSA has been received by the College.

You will find links to any required online forms located under the My Documents tab. Log into MyExcelsior then use the ‘Find them here' link to access your My Documents located in your online financial aid system.

If you are unable to complete the form electronically, please contact us at vafa@excelsior.edu

3. Award

Once we have all the required documents, we will send you an email asking you to check your financial aid award through MyExcelsior.

Your award package is based on your eligibility for aid, your cost of attendance, as well as the number of registered credit hours.

Be sure to review all messages associated with your award letter. It is your responsibility to determine if your financial aid awards will cover your tuition and fees. If not, you will be expected to pay the difference to the college.

4. Acceptance

In order to accept a Title IV loan, you must complete the following Federal requirements:

Entrance Counseling:

First-time borrowers at Excelsior College must complete entrance counseling which is available online. First go to MyExcelsior and review the MyExcelsior Financial Aid section. Then choose the Messages tab or go to the Department of Education entrance counseling to complete the online entrance counseling.

Master Promissory Note:

After completing your entrance counseling you must agree to the terms of the loan by electronically signing your Master Promissory Note. Visit the U.S. Department of Education student loan page and select Sign Master Promissory Note under Manage My Direct Loans. Continue through the screens, reading and agreeing to the explanations. You will be prompted for your user ID and PIN number. You can request this information from this screen. 

5. Federal Aid Book Voucher

To receive a Federal Aid Book voucher you must complete the Book Voucher Request Form (login required) each trimester. The book voucher can only be used towards books that are required for the course(s) you are registered in.

You need to have accepted enough federal financial aid to cover the cost of tuition, fees, and books. We cannot issue a federal financial aid book voucher with scholarship, private loan, or VA benefit funds.

Your book voucher will be valued at $140 per course. If you need an increase you may request to be reviewed for more than $140 per course and provide the amount that you need. You will receive a letter to the email address listed with Excelsior College from MBS Direct with further instruction such as book voucher number and expiration date once your book voucher is available.

Any unused funds will go back onto your account to be disbursed once the voucher expires. You may contact MBS Bookstore at 800-325-3252 if you have any questions or concerns.

6. Refund

If you completely withdraw from all courses and are receiving Federal Student Aid you are subject to having all or part of your financial aid returned to the appropriate financial aid programs. If you withdraw prior to 60% of the enrolled period elapsing, a pro-rated schedule (Return to Title IV Calculation) is used to determine how much Federal Student Aid funds were earned at the time of withdrawal. Please see the Excelsior College Student Policy Handbook for complete refund procedures as outlined in the course withdrawal section.

7. Graduation Rates

As a distributor of Federal Student Aid, Excelsior College is required by Federal Title IV regulations to inform you of the graduation rates of our first-time full-time students. We primarily serve working adults who attend college part-time, and who typically transfer in college credit previously obtained from other sources. The number of students at Excelsior College who are considered "first-time full-time" students for the current reporting year is zero for both associate and bachelor's degree seeking students.

Excelsior College is committed to providing you with information about the success of our degree program students. As a reflection of that commitment, we have joined with other colleges and universities that serve adults at a distance in a voluntary system of accountability and transparency. Transparency at Excelsior includes information that is reflective of our student body, including part-time and transfer students. You will also find additional statistics about the learners in our programs, as well as information about student satisfaction, engagement, and learning outcomes.

8. Consortium Agreements

Federal financial aid consortium agreements enable enrolled Excelsior College degree-seeking students to participate in financial aid programs while concurrently attending Excelsior College (Parent College) and another accredited higher education institution (Non-Parent Institution). The currently eligible non-parent schools are limited to the following colleges:

  • American River College
  • Anne Arundel Community College 
  • Broome Community College
  • Columbia Greene Community College
  • Daemen College
  • Dutchess Community College
  • Howard Community College
  • Hudson Valley Community College
  • Memorial College of Nursing
  • Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing 
  • Salem Community College
  • SUNY Adirondack
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Utah State University
  • Westchester Community College

You must be enrolled in a minimum of 3 credit hours both at Excelsior College and the non-parent college per term. (Total of 6 credit hours per term)

This agreement does not guarantee an increase in the amount of financial aid you will be eligible to receive.

Excelsior College reserves the right to decline a student's request for a consortium agreement if, in the opinion of the Excelsior College Financial Aid Office (FAO), that consortium agreement would be administratively prohibitive.

This agreement does not guarantee deferment of your past loans. Please contact your lender.

Speak with an Excelsior College financial aid advisor