Freshman Checklist

  • Be certain you are admitted to GSW as a degree-seeking undergraduate by checking your admissions status on line at https://rain.gsw.edu/prod8x/bwwkadst.P_GetID or by contacting Admissions at 800-338-0082.
  • Submit a completed FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ using information from the requested income tax returns as soon as possible after January 1st.
  • Obtain a PIN number, if you have not already received one from the federal processor. This will allow you to access, complete & electronically sign your FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA; to view the status and results of your processed FAFSA; to make corrections to your Student Aid Report (SAR). For dependent students, one parent needs a PIN number to sign electronically also. The website is www.fafsa.ed.gov.
  • When completing the FAFSA, be sure to list Southwestern using our Federal School Code of 001573. This will allow us to receive an electronic copy of the application.
  • The student will receive an e-mail notification with a direct link to the student's online Student Aid Report (SAR). Carefully read the comment section on the SAR to determine if any further action is required to complete the application process.
  • Verify that an electronic copy of the Student Aid Report (SAR) was received by the GSW Office of Financial Aid by checking your admission status online. New students who have not registered may click on the "Check Your Admissions or Financial Aid" buttons on the Financial Aid and Admissions portions of our website. New students who have registered and continuing students should access RAIN (Registration and Academic Information Network). This is also where you should check the status of your financial aid, award, and disbursement status online. Be sure to submit anything listed in Red.
  • Thirty percent of students are randomly selected for verification. Once your file is complete and if you are selected for verification, your information will go through a verification process. You may be required to submit further documentation before your financial aid can be awarded. You should access "Check you Status" or RAIN depending on your if you have registered and/or are a continuing student to determine if you file is complete.
  • Make sure your file is complete and verified (if required) to avoid delays in getting your financial aid funds. Delays could result in a "late fee" being added to the total amount owed to the university or possible deletion from classes.
  • If you plan to accept a student loan, please complete the following:
    1. Accept the Loan offer on RAIN.
      • Secure Log in (Enter GSW ID# and PIN)
      • Select Financial Aid
      • Select Award
      • Select Award By Aid year, Submit
      • Accept Award Offer (In the Accept Award Column, you must accept or decline the Offer).
      • You may choose a lower amount, Remember, these FUNDS must be paid back.
      • To accept a ‘Partial Amount’ tab to the next column and type in the total amount requested for the aid year. This request is for fall and spring semesters. Adjustments can be communicated below in the comments, however; if your request is unclear, it may hold up the loan process and/or additional paperwork may be required. (A good example of when to submit a comment would be that you only need your loan for FALL, because you are graduating FALL semester).
      • Accept ‘Full Amount’ or ‘Submit Decision’
      • If you typed comments ‘Submit Information’ at the bottom of the page, before exiting RAIN.
      If you are a new student, you must register for classes by attending a STORM Registration Day or by contacting your advisor before your RAIN account will be established. Therefore, you must register for classes before accepting your loan. If you are not registering for classes until the day before classes start, you may contact the Financial Aid Office about completing this process early. This process will only be allowed for those not registering early.
    2. Complete Entrance Counseling, First-time borrowers only
      • A few days after you accept your loan through RAIN, you will then be able to complete Entrance Counseling online at www.studentloans.gov
    3. Sign a Master Promissory Note, First-time borrowers only
      • A few days after you accept your loan through RAIN, and after you complete your Entrance Counseling, you will then be able to sign a Master Promissory Note online at online atwww.studentloans.gov.
      • If you have been awarded financial aid or a scholarship, please check RAIN to ensure your aid will pay your tuition and fees. If you have questions, you may check with the Office of Student Financial Aid (Sanford Hall) or call 229-928-1378.
      • Be prepared to pay your fees by the due date listed on your account. If your "awarded financial aid" will not cover all of your fees, you MUST pay the difference by the due date. If you feel that something is left off your award that you expected, please call 229-928-1378. You can pay your fees on line by going to your RAINaccount.