There are four steps you need to take as you apply for financial aid.

If you have questions along the way, we’re here to help at Learn more about the four steps to financial aid.

  • Step 1


    Apply for admission to Governors State University if you are not already an admitted student. We cannot process your financial aid application until you are officially admitted to the university. Please submit your application as soon as possible.

  • Step 2


    Apply for a PIN with the U.S. Department of Education. Students and parents of dependent students should both apply for their own PIN. If you or your parents have a PIN from a previous year, please use that. If you have forgotten your PIN, the Department of Education site listed above will help you retrieve it. You will use this PIN every year you apply for financial aid. The PIN is also used to complete Master Promissory Notes and Entrance Counseling for Federal Loans.

  • Step 3


    Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for federal and state aid. GSU's federal school code is 009145. If you have not yet filed your Federal Tax Return, you may estimate your most recent income and taxes. Just remember that if you do estimate, you must file a correction to update the information.

    Upon completion of your FAFSA the U.S. Federal Government will notify you that your FAFSA has been processed and an electronic confirmation will be sent to Governors State.

  • Step 4


    If your FAFSA was selected for verification, you will receive an email from financial aid listing the items needed to complete the verification process. You may also refer to your myGSU portal for a list of all required documents. Once submitted, please allow 2-3 weeks for processing.

  • Step 5


    Once your financial aid has been reviewed, you will be awarded and receive an email stating your award letter is available. Log into myGSU and view your "Financial Aid Award Letter" under the financial aid menu.

  • Step 6


    Accept and/or Decline your Financial Aid Awards 

    • Accept Federal Direct Stafford Loans: The following actions must be completed in order to ACCEPT your awarded Stafford loans and use these funds as payment towards your student account. 
      • Sign the Master Promissory Note and complete Entrance Loan Counseling online at You will need your four-digit FAFSA PIN to log into this site. 
    • Decline (or Reduce) Federal Direct Stafford Loan     
      • To decline your Direct loan(s), visit myGSU and click "Reject My Financial Aid Award(s)" under the financial aid menu. 
      • If you would like to reduce your Direct Loans, visit myGSU and complete the Loan Reduction Form. 

  • Step 7


    Monitor your account balance to determine if payment is necessary. Please direct any questions concerning your account balance and/or payments to the Office of Financial Services. You may email them at or call 708-235-3990.