The Financial Aid Process

Trying to find the right financial fit when looking for a college can seem sometimes like a jigsaw puzzle.  Over the last few months, you have seen a number of entries here that filled in some parts of the puzzle at Grove City College.  Today however, we are going to be looking at a big part of that puzzle:  need based scholarships.  Specifically, we will be looking at the components of the Grove City College Financial Aid Application as well as talk a little about the process.


The Financial Aid Application

The Grove City College Financial Aid Application, located here, is the vehicle by which you tell us about your financial situation.  The application can be submitted on paper or on-line.  It contains questions about parental and student income as well as the sources of that income.  The application also asks questions about parent and student assets.  It is important to answer as completely as possible and, for the questions about assets, it is very important that you do not list any assets that are located in retirement vehicles (IRA’s, 401k or 403b funds, etc).  Those assets are not included in the calculation.  You do need to report any funds that you put into those accounts for the calendar year as income in the appropriate blank on the application.

The Financial Aid Office takes that information and runs it through a formula to determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  There are a number of protection allowances in the formula that are based on a number of factors:  size of the family, number of students in College, age of older parent, do both parents work.  All of these factors impact the EFC and some of them impact that number in the opposite way that you might think.  That is why it is important to answer every question accurately and completely.  We are more than happy to help answer any questions that you have about the application itself or the process of completion.


The Signature Page

The Signature Page is a form that we use to verify that you have read and understood all of the information contained on the application.  In addition, your signature confirms that the information submitted is truthful and accurate.  This page is attached to the paper version of the application but is a separate, printable, page on the on-line application system.

There is no way currently to e-sign the Signature Page.  If you are submitting the page on-line, it can be submitted via the document portal that we have in place to receive your submitted documents.


The Tax Returns

Grove City College does something that is called “100% verification” in financial aid circles.  What that means is that we require the student to submit signed student and parent 1040s when applying for financial aid.  We do this to ensure the accuracy of our process.

The tax returns may, like the application and signature page, be submitted on-line via the document portal or on paper.  The parent form must be signed by both parents if a joint return and the student return must be signed by the student.


The W-2(s)

In conjunction with the tax returns, the College also requires the submission of parent and student W-2’s and 1099’s.  Again, this helps us to have as accurate a process as possible.


International Students

International Students who are considering Grove City College complete different forms to determine eligibility.  The Grove City College International Student Financial Aid Application and the Certification of Finances are located on our website and provide us with an accurate sense of financial need and the level of external support that the student will be receiving.


The Process

The deadline for submitting the Grove City College Financial Aid Application is April 15th.  The Financial Aid Office will begin e-mailing financial aid eligibility information to students who have completed the application process sometime during or after the third week of March.  The eligibility notice will contain information about any scholarship or grant for which we find you eligible.  In addition, if you are eligible to use a state grant at Grove City College (determined by the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA), we will notify you as soon as that information becomes final.  The notice will also contain information about student loans and student employment.

If you have any questions about any part of the process, it is very important that you contact our office.  We are more than happy to assist you as you navigate the application and the awarding process.



Final Comments

The application process can seem to be a complex one.  Between the questions on the application and the need to submit the tax returns and W-2’s it can seem time-consuming but I strongly encourage you to stay with the process. Also, be sure to meet the application deadlines for the process.  The two hardest conversations I have are the one where the student applied late and lost eligibility for an aid program and the one where the student did not apply at all.

Finally, again, I encourage you to contact us at 724-458-3300 or at with any questions that you may have about the process or programs.  We are here to serve as a resource for you.  This is an exciting time for you and we wish you all the best in your College search!



  • Grove City College Financial Aid Application
  • Signature Page and Checklist
  • Signed Copy of Parent 1040
  • Signed Copy of Student 1040 if applicable
  • Parent W-2(s) if applicable
  • Student W-2(s) if applicable

Required International Student Financial Aid Application Components:

  • International Student Financial Aid Application
  • Certification of Finances



Thomas Ball has been the Director of Financial Aid at Grove City College since 2006 and has over 25 years of financial aid experience.  A 1988 graduate of Grove City College, he holds a Master’s Degree from the Pennsylvania State University.


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