Why the FAFSA?

To apply for federal and state financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). An analysis of your FAFSA calculates an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), how much you and your family might be expected to contribute to your education for the academic year, based on a U.S. Department of Education need analysis formula. Beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA cycle, the EFC is being replaced by the Student Aid Index, or SAI. This number will be used to calculate demonstrated financial need and Federal Pell Grant eligibility.

In calculating both the EFC or SAI, a variety of factors are taken into account:

  • Family income
  • Available assets
  • Family size
  • Parents’ age (which calculates their need to save for retirement)
  • Number of siblings enrolled HT or greater in college during the applicable FAFSA academic year (no longer a factor beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA cycle)


Pacific Lutheran University’s School Code: 003785

You may submit the FAFSA in one of two ways:


Complete the FAFSA on the web. You will be required to create your own Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID, which you will use as your electronic signature for the FAFSA.

We recommend you Create your FSA ID and password before you start your FAFSA application.

Submitting the FAFSA on the web is the most accurate way to complete the FAFSA. Remember, this application is free of charge. If you are being asked to submit a payment, you are on the wrong website.


Processing of a paper FAFSA takes approximately three to four weeks without the online edits, skip logic and error messages to prevent filing mistakes.  It is therefore not the recommended route for submitting your FAFSA.

If unable to complete your FAFSA online, you may request a paper FAFSA by calling the U.S. Department of Education at 1-800-433-3243 or 344-523-2691.  If you are hearing impaired, contact the TTY line at 1-800-730-8913. Once completed, mail your completed pdf FAFSA to:

Federal Student Aid Programs
P.O. Box 7654
London, KY 40742-7654

When completing the FAFSA, be sure to indicate that you want the results of your analysis sent to Pacific Lutheran University (use code 003785). Keep copies of everything you submit.

To receive financial assistance for enrollment in the fall semester of 2023 or spring semester of 2024, be sure to complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA. To receive financial assistance for enrollment in the summer 2024 term, the fall 2024 term, or the spring 2025 term, be sure to complete the 2024-25 FAFSA. Both FAFSAs can be found here.