Starting the Financial Aid Process
Wondering how you’re going to pay for your education? You’re not alone. At Gwynedd Mercy University, we’re committed to making the financial aid process as easy to navigate as possible. That way, you can feel confident that a Gwynedd Mercy University education is within your reach.
Qualifying for Financial Aid
Yes, it's true — for the last five years, 100 percent of our first-time, full-time students received some form of financial aid. While part-time students taking at least six credit hours per semester may be considered for state and federal aid funds, institutional aid is reserved for full-time undergraduate students seeking their first bachelor's degree. Institutional scholarships are offered to both qualifying incoming freshmen and transfer students.
Applying for Aid
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Great news! You can complete your FAFSA on your smartphone by downloading the myStudentAid app in the Apple App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android).
The FAFSA will be used to determine your eligibility for federal and institutional need-based aid for the 2024-2025 academic year. Watch the video to learn more about the FAFSA, and find updates on the 2024-2025 FAFSA here.
Have questions about the FAFSA? Contact one of our trained financial aid professionals who are ready to help you, at no charge!
Deadlines for 2024-2025 Academic Year Applicants
Priority deadlines and funding are only applicable to traditional undergraduate students.
- December 1: Admissions Application Priority Deadline for new students, especially those seeking a Presidential or Cristo Rey Scholarship
- March 15: FAFSA Priority Deadline for all new students. First-time students who submit their FAFSA by this date will be eligible to receive a renewable $1,000 FAFSA submission grant.
- March 30: FAFSA Priority Deadline for returning students
- May 1: Final deadline for filing the FAFSA if you're interested in receiving a Pennsylvania State Grant
In order for GMercyU to provide you with a financial aid package, you will need to include our FAFSA code on your FAFSA submission.
GMercyU's School code is: 003270
Note: If you are not planning to file the FAFSA, please complete a FAFSA waiver as soon as possible. The waiver is available on the Self Service Portal — once you've logged in, click the "Financial Aid" tile. (If you've been accepted to GMercyU, you will have access to the Self Service Portal.) That way we can issue a financial aid offer letter that includes any institutional merit or other scholarship aid offered to you, along with your cost of attendance.
Please log into the Self Service Portal (click the "Financial Aid" tile) and upload all request documentation — for example, federal tax returns or W-2 forms.
IMPORTANT TIP: Most communication will be sent to the email address provided on your FAFSA. Please check that email regularly so you can respond to questions and/or requests for additional documentation. Once students are formally enrolled at the university, all communication will be through your GMercyU email account.
Submit the FERPA consent form (PDF), which gives us permission to speak with specific people regarding your financial aid.
When your financial aid offer is ready, you will be notified via email. Then, please review and accept your financial aid offer on the Self Service Portal. Here is How to Accept Your Aid on the Portal (PDF). Be sure to download a copy for your records, and please read our financial aid terms and conditions (PDF).
While our financial aid staff is available to answer any questions you may have along the way, we can’t evaluate and issue a package based on an incomplete application. Please be sure to provide all the documentation requested. And please don't hesitate to ask questions about any of the four steps above. We would love to help you — contact us!
If you were selected to undergo the federal verification process, you can find all appropriate verification documentation on the Self Service Portal (click the “Financial Aid” tile). Requested tax documentation – such as W-2(s), IRS tax return transcripts, etc – can be found on IRS.gov.
If you have any questions regarding the verification requirements, please contact us! We’re ready to help you.
Understanding Your Aid Offer
A typical undergraduate financial aid package includes:
- Grants or scholarships — money you do not need to pay back
- A low-interest student loan that you will need to pay back after you leave college
- Campus employment (up to 15 hours per week)
Undergraduates will likely receive the same amount all four years as long as you reapply for financial aid annually, you continue to meet all conditions of the offer, and your financial need remains essentially unchanged.
If you have any questions about your offer, please contact us! And remember, not all financial aid is created equal. If you’re comparing one school’s offer to another school’s offer, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. If you have questions, we are here to help.
Federal Direct Loan Recipients
If you are receiving Federal Direct Loans for the first time, you must complete the entrance counseling and master promissory note before you can receive loan funds.
Covering Any Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Please reference this Closing the Gap brochure for more alternative financing information.
The federal Department of Education announced changes to the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, including when it will be available to students and families. See below for helpful information. Find updates on the 204-2025 FAFSA here.
The Department of Education released the newly overhauled 2024-25 FAFSA to students and families on December 31, 2023. Find detailed information about the new FAFSA here.
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s the form used to determine a student’s financial need.
Students who choose not to submit a FAFSA will not be eligible for any institutional, federal or state need-based aid, and they also will not be eligible for outside scholarships that are based on financial need. Students should still be eligible for institutional merit scholarships. At GMercyU, merit scholarships are awarded at the time of admission.
Update: The FAFSA was released on December 31, 2023.
YES! While we all wait for the 2024-25 FAFSA to be released by the Department of Education, you can give yourself a head start in completing the financial aid process by creating your FSA ID!
The FSA ID is something that students and parents/guardians need to have in order to complete the FASFA. The student needs an FSA ID and parent(s)/guardian(s) also need their own FSA IDs. To complete this process, simply go to https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch and follow the instructions.
Keep your FSA ID in a safe place! You will need it each time you complete the FAFSA.
Did You Know? You will need to complete the FAFSA for each academic year you’re enrolled in college.
For 2024-2025, the federal government has shortened the FAFSA and made it easier to complete by automating the input of tax information. Here are some key things to know about the FAFSA completion process:
- Applicants are required to use their IRS data exchange feature.
Previously, users had the option to enter their tax information manually or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Beginning with 2024-25, students and parents/guardians will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange to share tax information or confirm non-tax-filing status. This change makes it easier to complete the FAFSA and reduces the number of questions each person has to answer.
- All "contributors" must provide financial information.
A “contributor” refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student's FAFSA form (such as a parent/stepparent or spouse). For example, if you are a “dependent” student – meaning you live at home with one or more parents/guardians – those parent(s)/guardian(s) will need to provide access to their tax information on the FAFSA.
To invite a contributor to your FAFSA form, you'll need to provide their name, date of birth, Social Security Number, and email address. Be sure to gather this information prior to starting the 2024-25 FAFSA.
IMPORTANT: Being a contributor does not mean the person is financially responsible for the student's education costs, but it does mean the contributor must provide tax information on the 2024-25 FAFSA in order for the FAFSA to be considered complete.
- What happens if I or my "contributor(s)" do not have a social security number?
If you do not have a Social Security Number, but are an eligible noncitizen, select the "Eligible noncitizen" option under the "Student Citizenship Status" section. To determine whether you are an Eligible Noncitizen, please review the information on this site: StudentAid.gov/noncitizen.
Your parent does not need a Social Security number (SSN) to complete the student's FAFSA form. Starting in December 2023, parents will be able to get an FSA ID (account username and password) without having an SSN. On the 2024–25 FAFSA form, if the parent is completing their own section and doesn't have an SSN, the SSN will be blank or prefilled with an assigned pseudo-SSN.
- The Student Aid Index (SAI) is replacing the expected family contribution (EFC).
Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the previous Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The SAI is used to determine the student’s financial need.
If you or a family member has filed the FASFA in a prior year, here are some things that will change: (If you have never completed a FAFSA, feel free to skip to the next section.)
- Whereas the EFC did not go below $0 in the prior FAFSA, the new SAI can be as low as -$1,500. However, this does not necessarily mean the student will be eligible for more need-based aid.
- Some students will automatically be awarded a Pell Grant. The new FAFSA seeks to expand eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant program. While some students may become eligible for higher financial aid amounts, it’s important to understand that others might experience a reduction in their eligibility.
- The number of household members attending college will not be calculated into the SAI.
- The net worth of a business is no longer limited to those businesses with more than 100 full-time employees. Applicants will be asked to report the net worth of all businesses, regardless of size.
- The net worth of a farm now includes the value of a family farm.
- Child support received will be reported as an asset on the FAFSA instead of as untaxed income.
With this tool, students can find out how much federal student aid you may be eligible for starting with the 2024–25 award year. Access the Federal Student Aid Estimator Tool at https://studentaid.gov/aid-estimator/ .
Applicants who do not agree to share their tax information via the IRS Data Exchange Tool (see above) will not have access to the Federal Student Aid Estimator Tool.
If you are applying for aid for the 2023-24 academic year, you will need to complete the 2023-24 FAFSA. The 2023-24 FAFSA uses the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to determine aid eligibility.