How to Apply for Financial Aid (Step 1)

 Lawson State School Code:  001059

Note: Lawson State does NOT have a loan program

Step 1:  How to Apply

Section Content:

General Eligibility Requirements
Beginning the Process
•Email from the US Department of Education
FAFSA results - the Student Aid Report (SAR)
Record Keeping

General Eligibility Criteria to Apply & Receive Aid

Part of Step 1 is to determine if you are eligible to apply for financial aid. To be considered for financial aid, you must meet all of the general eligibility criteria. To be considered for financial aid, you must meet all of the following criteria:
•You must formally apply for admission to Lawson State Community College.
•You must be a United States citizen or an eligible non-citizen (FAFSA instructions). Also see U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS formerly INS) a Bureau of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
•You must possess a high school diploma or equivalent.
•You must be seeking a degree in an eligible program and making Satisfactory Academic Progress toward that degree. Certification programs are not eligible for Federal Aid. As long as you are a transient student (not a degree seeking student) at Lawson State, we are unable to award you aid.
•You must not be in default on any federal education loan, and you must not owe a refund because of overpayment of a previous federal grant or loan at any college or university. You may check your status on the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS).
•You must have a valid social security number. The data fields for your date of birth, name, and social security number reported on your FAFSA must match with those data elements at the Social Security Administration and at Lawson State Community College. If these do not match you must correct any errors with the FAFSA processor; you can make changes (married name, etc.) to Social Security records by submitting proper documentation to the Social Security Administration & Lawson State Community College.

Beginning the Process

Lawson State requires students to have an Admissions application on file before FAFSA data is loaded into our system.  After your FAFSA is received by the US Department of Education, the USDE may request you send us additional documents; there is usually indication of their request in the comments section of the Student Aid Report (SAR) which they send to you. If other documentation is required, you may access this information by logging in to your MyLawson account, and reviewing the "Unsatisfied Requirements" section. If the financial aid office becomes aware of any issues regarding the General Eligibility Requirements (above) from the FAFSA application or from data within our computer system, we will follow up for you to resolve those issues.

1.Print an Application Checklist from the document area of the web site for the appropriate year or:
2023-2024 FA Checklist - then begin the following process:

2.Apply for a U.S. Department of Education Identification Number (Federal Student Aid ID) This serves as your electronic signature.
See video. 

3.Go to FAFSA on the Web at  to apply for financial aid.

• Be sure you are applying for the correct Academic year using school code 001059.

• Just fill in the blanks when prompted.

• Errors are reduced because your answers are checked as you enter them.

• Your application reaches the federal processor immediately.

All students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year for the academic year covering their enrollment periods. Financial aid is NEVER renewed automatically.

• Students planning to attend Fall 2023, Spring 2024, or Summer 2024 would complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA available in October 2022.

Please list the Federal School code number for the Lawson State Community College 001059 regardless of the campus you plan to attend: Birmingham or Bessemer. If applying for 2023-2024, you may wish to download the FAFSA on the Web Pre-Application Worksheet to help with the process; the worksheet follows the on-line version of the FAFSA. Submitting the FAFSA over the internet is the fastest way to apply. 


 Email from the US Department of Education (USDE)

•If you provided a valid email address when you applied, you'll get an email within a few days after the submission of your FAFSA from the USDE. The email will contain a secure link so you can access your SAR on the Web. (If you have a "blocked" folder in your email files, check it. The email from the US Department of Education might go there instead of to your inbox.)

Please maintain your email accounts properly and accurately - safeguard against full mailboxes and account closures. This is true not only for email from Department of Education (USDE) in response to your FAFSA or for reminders for you to re-apply for financial aid but also for College email once your FAFSA information has been received. (Do not set up your account with your HS related e mail address, as you will not have access to that e mail after HS graduation.) Students are reminded to allow emails with extensions to go to their mailbox rather than trash and to keep email address used to apply for Federal Aid active and to keep their email and mailing addresses current on their Student Aid Report.

•The USDE will send a reminder between mid- September to mid-January to all renewal eligible applicants with a valid e-mail address. 

•If the student has not reapplied by April, the USDE will send follow up e-mail reminders.  


FAFSA results - the Student Aid Report (SAR)

Now the Department of Education will process your application and send you a Student Aid Report (SAR).

An electronic copy of your SAR is also made available to all the schools you've listed on your FAFSA. Lawson State will not process this information unless you are an admitted degree seeking student.

Your SAR will contain your EFC, which is the Expected Family Contribution. The EFC is a preliminary estimate based on the information you provided on your application. It is subject to change based upon verification of information you provided. The EFC is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. You will receive an official EFC on your Student Aid Report (SAR) based on the processing results of your FAFSA. The EFC is discussed further in Step 4.

Review your submitted FAFSA (SAR) results:
• Review the comments or instructions to the student on the SAR. These will alert you to whether you may have to submit additional paperwork. You can find out whether or not you have been selected for the process called "Verification" or whether you have some conflicting information to resolve. The Student Aid Report (SAR) is your first notification of any additional documentation you must provide before your application will be processed by Lawson State.

• Check the status of your submitted FAFSA with USDE by selecting Check Status of a Submitted FAFSA or print a Signature page, or by returning to the FAFSA on the Web home page at and selecting "Check Status of a Submitted FAFSA or Print a Signature Page".

You may check the status of your application with USDE at any time, but we recommend you at least check the status at the following times:

1 week after submission - if you used the FSA ID to sign your application
2-3 weeks after submission - if you printed, signed and mailed a signature page.

• Once the US Department of Education has received all required signatures and processed your application or correction form, you can access your processed application information by selecting View and Print your Student Aid Report from the left navigation bar at the FAFSA web site.

• If you provided the USDE a valid email address, and your application was processed successfully, they will send you an email notification with instructions on how to access your electronic SAR (Student Aid Report). You will also have the option to print a copy. If they do not have a valid email for you, you will receive a paper copy of your SAR.

• If you find you made a mistake after submitting your application, you will have to wait until after your application has been processed by the USDE to make corrections. Corrections can be made through Corrections on the Web at You must have a FSA ID to access your Corrections on the Web data.

• After you are awarded and enrolled you should NOT make changes yourself to your FAFSA data for the same award year in which you are enrolled. Always request (in writing with documentation) that a Student Financial Services advisor reviews and make changes to your FAFSA data (rather than doing so yourself) after you are awarded and enrolled; your disbursements could be cancelled or reversed. This is especially true if we have reviewed your data with a process called Verification. If you make changes to FAFSA data altering your eligibility for assistance for the year in which you are currently enrolled, we will select you for Verification if the Department of Education failed to do so. Changing your data might result in a Pell Grant over-payment, which you will have to pay back to the institution. 


Record Keeping

Make a file and keep your FSA ID, as well as copies of your financial aid applications, award letters, loan disclosure statements for future reference. After you receive your award notification, you may wish to complete a budget to make sure that your resources will be sufficient to get your through your period of enrollment. Additionally, you may wish to keep a signed copy of the appropriate IRS Tax transcript or tax return in this file in the event you are selected by the Department of Education for a process called Verification.


NOTE:  Lawson State would like to thank and credit the support of Troy University for its assistance and cooperation in the development of the information contained in the Financial Aid section of this website.