Applying for Financial Aid

There’s a lot of jargon to be aware of when it comes to the college search process. There’s even more vocabulary to learn when it comes to financial aid.

The most important takeaway for you is that we’re here to help you with this process.

If you’re new to the lingo, don’t worry. Here’s a list of important terms and concepts to know as you go through the process of applying to and affording college.

Applying for financial aid and applying to college happen concurrently. Timing is critical, so we encourage you to begin the financial aid process as early as you are able so we have ample time to work with you each step of the way.

Important Dates

Application Round Financial Aid Deadline Award Notification
Early Decision 1 November 15 Mid-December
Early Decision 2 January 15 Mid-February
Regular Decision January 15 Early April

For U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents

  1. Indicate your intention to apply for financial aid on your admissions application.
    If you’re not sure whether you will apply for financial aid or not, it’s best to indicate that you will be applying for aid on your application. This indication will make it easier for us to remind you of upcoming deadlines and to connect you with your personal Financial Aid Officer.
  2. Complete the CSS Profile*
    The CSS Profile becomes available on October 1 and needs to be completed by the same deadline as your admissions application round. Trinity’s school code is 3899.  The CSS Profile helps us better calculate a family’s demonstrated level of need so that we can build a financial aid package that may include institutional grant assistance.
  3. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)*
    The FAFSA becomes available on October 1 and needs to be completed by the same deadline as your admissions application round. Trinity’s school code is 001414. Submitting the FAFSA allows us to see your federal financial aid eligibility. This could include student loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), Pell grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and more. Whenever possible, we encourage you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to download tax information directly from the IRS. The instructions of each form reference the tax return line numbers you will need.
  4. Submit signed federal tax returns and W-2s
    Federal tax returns are required from the parent(s) or guardian(s) and the student if filed. Trinity uses an Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC) through the College Board so that you can submit your financial materials through a secured method. More information about IDOC can be found at https://pages.collegeboard.org/idoc. We do not need state tax returns.
  5. If applicable, submit Business and/or Farm Tax Returns
    If you or your parent(s)/guardian(s) own all or part of a Corporation, S Corporation, or Partnership, submit a copy of the most recent partnership or corporate tax return.

*In the case of divorced or separated parents, a PROFILE is required by both parents. The Noncustodial Profile must be completed after the CSS Profile has been started. Please use the students’ CSS ID number and password created during the submission of the CSS Profile in order to access and link the Noncustodial Profile with the student. If you have extenuating circumstances that make it challenging to collect financial data from your noncustodial parent, please complete the CSS Profile Waiver Request for the Noncustodial Parent Form available here.

For International Students

  1. Indicate your intention to apply for financial aid on your admissions application
    If you’re not sure whether you will apply for financial aid or not, it’s best to indicate that you will be applying for aid on your application. This indication will make it easier for us to remind you of upcoming deadlines and to connect you with your personal Financial Aid Officer.
  2. Complete the CSS Profile*
    The CSS Profile becomes available on October 1 and needs to be completed by the same deadline as your admissions application round. Trinity’s school code is 3899.  The CSS Profile helps us better calculate a family’s demonstrated level of need so that we can build a financial aid package that may include institutional grant assistance.
  3. If you are not able to complete the CSS Profile, you may submit the International Student Financial Aid Application (ISFAA)
    You may send the ISFAA directly to the Trinity Financial Aid Office.

*In the case of divorced or separated parents, a PROFILE is required by both parents. The Noncustodial Profile must be completed after the CSS Profile has been started. Please use the students’ CSS ID number and password created during the submission of the CSS Profile in order to access and link the Noncustodial Profile with the student. If you have extenuating circumstances that make it challenging to collect financial data from your noncustodial parent, please complete the CSS Profile Waiver Request for the Noncustodial Parent Form available here.

You are not alone as you navigate these steps. We’ve created a printable checklist to help you stay on track. If you have questions about how to submit information, please reach out to us. If you’re not sure how to account for your circumstances in these rigid forms, let us know so we can gain a deeper insight into your unique family situation.

Special Notes:

In most cases, you will need to apply for financial aid each year. You should not expect large changes in your financial aid package unless your financial circumstances and/or the number of students your family has in college change. For families who qualify for four-year packaging, we will not require an updated CSS PROFILE after your first year and will help you with your FAFSA completion.

Additionally, on occasion, students who were admitted to Trinity without institutional grant assistance inquire if they may apply for financial aid in a subsequent year. In light of the College’s commitment to continue to meet the calculated needs of students receiving institutional aid, it is unlikely that resources will be available for enrolled students not currently receiving institutional funds.  Students are encouraged, however, to apply for all federal and state financial aid for which they may be eligible to receive. Enrolled students who do wish to submit a first-time application for institutional aid should meet with a financial aid administrator to discuss the application process and to review the list of required documents. All applicants must adhere to our published deadlines.