Application Procedure

The free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the starting point for financial assistance from federal, state of Illinois, and Bradley University. The FAFSA also serves as the application for federal student and parent loans. You will submit a new FAFSA each academic year. If you are only interested in receiving Bradley University academic scholarships and/or performance-based awards, you do not need to complete the FAFSA.

  • The FAFSA is always completed online at the U.S. Department of Education website. Do not go to any other web address to submit your FAFSA. Applying for financial assistance is always free. If you are asked to pay, you are at the wrong site and should contact the Bradley Financial Assistance Office for guidance.
  • If you are applying for financial assistance at more than one school, you still only complete one FAFSA. The results will be delivered to each school that you have indicated via a U.S. Department of Education school code. Bradley University’s School Code is 001641.
  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA is available in December 2023 and must be filed as soon as possible to ensure full consideration for federal, state of Illinois, and Bradley financial assistance. Those with later filing dates risk not receiving many types of Bradley University and state of Illinois financial assistance. The 2025-2026 FAFSA release date will return to an October 1st release.
  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA is linked to 2022 tax information. This allows families to complete the FAFSA using tax information that is already complete.


Verification is a review process in which the Office of Financial Assistance is directed by the Department of Education to determine the accuracy of the information provided on the FAFSA. Applications requiring verification are selected by the federal processor. Selection may be random or as a result of missing, inconsistent, conflicting, or seemingly incorrect information. At Bradley, about 30-35% of all FAFSA applications are selected for verification.

If selected, we will notify the student to request additional information/documentation including a Verification Worksheet.

Verification Worksheets are available here.

You will be asked to send information directly to the university. Generally, Bradley completes verification prior to making a financial assistance award, so your initial award will not change. In the unlikely event that your award was made prior to verification and the information you provide differs from the information reported on your FAFSA, financial aid could be reduced or cancelled. Verification must be completed prior to review of any special circumstances.

Award Notification

Financial assistance award information is delivered electronically via either Bradley Bound or MySFS (located on the Student Financial Services homepage). When a new or revised award has been posted, the student will be notified by email. Students can log into MySFS and view award information using their six digit Bradley ID (BU ID) number* and the last five digits of their social security number. If you choose not to provide your social security number on your application for admission, you will be unable to access MySFS.

For first-year and transfer applicants, award notification begins in mid-November. Continuing student award notification begins mid-June.

Bradley uses a “passive” award acceptance process. This means that no action (such as signing and/or returning an award) needs to be taken unless a student wishes to decline a portion of the award, such as a student loan. Awards (including federal loans) are automatically posted to the student’s billing account beginning early July.

*New students who do not know their BU ID should contact Undergraduate Admissions at (309) 677-1000