How to Apply

Step 1:

Create an FSA ID at This will be your login into the FAFSA. *If you are a dependent student, your parents should also create an FSA ID as they will need to sign your FAFSA as well.

Step 2:

Apply online for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at

  • Indicate MSU-Northern’s school code #002533 in the school release section of the application. Don’t forget to send in your signed signature page if you did not sign electronically with your FSA ID!

Step 3:

The processor sends information electronically to schools listed on the FAFSA and sends a Student Aid Report (SAR) to you.

  • After applying for the FAFSA on the web, you will receive a Student Aid Report in about 3-5 days. The Financial Aid Office will receive this document electronically.

Step 4:

Complete the 2018-19 Student Data form (for Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Summer 2019) OR the 2019-2020 Student Data Form (for Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020) in full! Don’t forget to sign and date the bottom and return to MSU-Northern Financial Aid Office.

Step 5:

If you were picked for Verification by the Federal Processor (you will find this information on your SAR) you will need to do the following:

  • Contact the Financial Aid office at 406.265.3787
  • Refer to your Banner Web MyInfo to view missing requirements

Step 6:

Send all requested documents to MSUN for processing.

Step 7:

MSUN notifies you of your eligibility in the form of an award letter.

  • New students will receive a paper copy in the mail and an Electronic Award Letter.
  • Continuing students will receive an Electronic Award Letter.

Step 8:

You will then accept or decline aid offered.

  • New students will need to either return the signed paper copy to MSUN financial aid office or complete the Electronic Award Letter.
  • Continuing students will need to complete the Electronic Award Letter.

Please Note: There are some additional steps in the process when applying for any of the Federal Direct Loan Programs (Federal Direct Stafford, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford, and Federal Direct Parent PLUS). Specific information will be included with your financial aid award letter.