The VCU Office of Financial Aid recommends electronically filing the FAFSA by Feb. 1. Students should complete the FAFSA using data from their completed tax returns. If necessary, they may use estimated tax return data in order to meet the VCU priority filing date but should be prepared to submit a copy of their completed tax returns and W2 forms to VCU as soon as possible. Students will receive their financial aid award notification after their FAFSA application data has been verified. If students have not applied for financial aid in a timely manner, they may want to participate in the VCU installment payment plan, which budgets each semester’s bill over four payments. Information about this plan can be found on the Student Accounting Department’s website.