File Your FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to consider your eligibility for federal grants, federal loans, and state grants. You’ll complete the application each year at SEMO's FAFSA Code is 002501.

FAFSA Deadline

The FAFSA opens on October 1 each year. Southeast’s priority FAFSA deadline is February 1, so we recommend you submit it by mid-January to allow the Department of Education time to process. If you miss the priority deadline, you can still submit the FAFSA; however, some aid may not be available due to limited funding. Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible to maximize your eligibility.

The table below assists in helping you determine which tax year you’ll use to complete the application.

Semester Student Will Attend FAFSA to Complete Available Tax Year Used
Fall 2022/Spring 2023/Summer 2023 2022-2023 October 1, 2021 2020
Fall 2023/Spring 2024/Summer 2024 2023-2024 October 1, 2022 2021


Use the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to link tax information from the IRS! It will save time and reduce the 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.

What is Verification?

Verification is a federally regulated review process of your FAFSA to confirm it was properly completed. Being selected doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong, but it does mean you’ll need to work through the process.

Special Circumstances

A special circumstance refers to the financial situations (examples listed below) that may warrant an adjustment of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number, which could result in an adjustment to financial aid eligibility.

Circumstances may include

  • Loss or change of employment
  • Loss or change in amount of child support or other benefits that have been reported on the FAFSA
  • Divorce or separation of parents, or spouse for independent students
  • Death of parent(s), or spouse for independent students
  • Unusual medical expenses paid out of pocket (not covered by insurance, MRA, or HSA accounts)

Before a review can be processed, you must complete the FAFSA for the proper academic year, and if chosen for verification, complete the verification process. Please allow 2-3 weeks processing time for the review of special circumstance, after all documentation has been submitted.

If you believe that your situation warrants review, please contact our office to discuss the matter and request a copy of the Review of Special Circumstances form.

Unusual Circumstances (Independent status appeal)

Most students, under the age of 24, are considered dependent when completing their FAFSA. This means they are required to provide parental information on the FAFSA. However, financial aid administrators may override a dependency status on a case-by-case basis for students with unusual circumstances.

The following are examples of circumstances that may be considered for a dependency override:

  • Abusive family environment
  • Abandonment
  • Death of Custodial Parent and no contact with living parent

The following circumstances, alone, would not be considered for a dependency override:

  • Parent(s) refuse to contribute to the student’s education
  • Parent(s) are unwilling to provide information on the application or for verification
  • Parent(s) do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency.

If you believe your situation warrants a review, please contact our office to discuss the matter and request a copy of the Special Circumstances or Appeal for Independent Status form. Please allow 2-3 weeks processing time for the review of your appeal, after all documentation has been submitted.

Financial Aid Shopping Sheet

This consumer tool simplifies information prospective students receive about costs and financial aid so you can make informed decisions about which college to attend.

Get FAFSA Help

Gather your information and push play on this YouTube playlist as a SEMO student walks you through the steps and things you’ll need to file your FAFSA.

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Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
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