BIG Changes Are Coming to the FAFSA

Beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students/parents will use tax information from 2 years prior. Additionally, the FAFSA will be available beginning October 1, 2016Example: 2017-2018 FAFSA = 2015 tax information; 2018-2019 FAFSA = 2016 tax information. 

For additional details, see step 3 below. Additionally, check out 7 Myths About the 2017-18 FAFSA Debunked from the Department of Education blog.

Applying for aid might seem overwhelming at first, but we are here to help! There are three basic applications that you should complete to maximize your eligibility.

1. Admissions Application (One-Time Only)

The Southeast application for admission is used to determine eligibility for merit/academic scholarships. These are awarded during your admission process, prior to beginning your first semester with Southeast. Eligibility is dependent on your submission date of the application for admission and either:

  • Incoming Freshmen - ACT/SAT score and high school GPA (6th or 7th semester only)
  • Transfer Students - previous college performance


Scholarship Application Deadline  Last ACT/SAT Considered
Governor's/Regents'/President's (freshmen)
December 1st
December Test Date
University's/Midwest Achievement/Residence Life (freshmen)
March 1st
February Test Date
Community College/Midwest Achievement (fall transfers)
March 1st
Community College/Midwest Achievement (spring transfers)
November 1st

Eligibility for merit scholarships does not require submission of the FAFSA (see step 3 below). For additional information and eligibility requirements visit our Merit Scholarship page.

2. Endowed Scholarship Application (Annually)

After you are admitted, apply for endowed scholarships through AcademicWorks, our endowed scholarship database. By completing the general application you will be automatically considered for a majority of the scholarships. Then, review each of the recommended scholarships. These may have specific eligibility criteria or require supplemental information. For additional help, review the Endowed Scholarship Application Instructions

Endowed scholarships are created when a donor gives money to Southeast to create a scholarship fund. These donors may be alumni, faculty/staff, community members, or other individuals who want our students to succeed academically and financially.

APPLICATION OPENS: September 1st (for following academic year)
DEADLINE: March 1st

While not required, completion of the FAFSA (see step 3 below) is recommended as some endowed scholarships require demonstrated financial need, as indicated by the FAFSA.

3. FAFSA (Annually)

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be completed each year at This application is used to consider your eligibility for Federal GrantsFederal Loans, & State Grants.

In the past, when filing the FAFSA students used the calendar year that just ended (e.g. in 2016 which begins with fall 2016, the 2015 calendar year is the tax year that was used). For the 2017-2018 academic year, rather than the 2016 tax year, you will use the prior, prior year (2015 again). Please see the chart below for clarification:

Semester Student Will Attend FAFSA to Complete Available Tax Year Used
Fall 2016/Spring 2017/Summer 2017
January 1, 2016
Fall 2017/Spring 2018/Summer 2018
October 1, 2016
Fall 2018/Spring 2019/Summer 2019
October 1, 2016


  • Use the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to link tax information from the IRS! It will save time and reduce probability of being selected for Verification!
  • When you receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) by email, verify all information is correct and your FAFSA was not rejected.

AVAILABLE: October 1st
PRIORITY DEADLINE: February 1st* (Submit by mid-January to allow Dept. of Ed. processing time.)

*Missed the priority deadline? The FAFSA can still be submitted, however some aid may not be available due to limited funding. Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible to maximize eligibility. 

What's Next?

To see what's next in the process, how/when aid is awarded, and how billing works, make sure to review the information for your particular Student Type(s).

Additionally, check out the video below for general information what happens after you submit your FAFSA!


Applying for Summer Aid

Students do not need to complete an additional application to be considered for summer aid, as long the appropriate FAFSA is on file (referenced above). Once enrolled in summer courses, we will automatically evaluate if aid eligibility exists for the remainder of the academic year, beginning early April. Students will receive an email informing them of summer aid eligibility, once evaluated.

If students have accepted their full award for both fall and spring, summer eligibility may not exist. To be considered for student loans, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 hours for the summer semester. 


Phone: 573.651.2253
Fax: 573.651.5006

Summer Hours: 8am-4pm M-F,
(9am-4pm Wed)

Student Financial Services
Academic Hall Room 019
One University Plaza, MS 3740
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701
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