How to Apply

Five Steps for All Financial Aid Applicants 

To apply for Financial Aid for your courses at Bristol, just follow the steps below.

Please Note: Tax return information is needed to complete the FAFSA and the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is the preferred method for providing that information.

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    The federal government is strongly encouraging applicants to file the FAFSA on the Web. Electronic filing is faster, more economical, and reduces paper waste.

  2. Create your FSA ID.
    The FSA ID is your username and password that gives you access to all things related to Federal Student Aid. You will use it to sign your FAFSA, access the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and complete the Entrance/Exit Counseling and Master Promissory Note for your student loan. Go to and click "Create an FSA ID." Full instructions for creating your FSA ID can be found on our Forms page under "How to Create an FSA ID."

    If you are considered a dependent student, a parent will also be required to set up an FSA ID.

    If filing online is not an option for you, you can download a paper FAFSA from our Forms page. The Department of Education is no longer providing schools with paper forms. Follow the directions indicated, complete the form, and mail to the address listed. 

    The Bristol Financial Aid Office staff can help you complete the financial aid applications. Workshops and walk-in assistance are available at all our locations. See the Financial Aid Workshops page for more information.

  3. Visit Forms to view the Financial Aid Application Checklist/Information Sheet and other forms.

  4. Verify the data on your Student Aid Report (SAR).
    About one to six weeks after submitting your FAFSA, you will receive a SAR from the U. S. Department of Education. You will receive the SAR via the email address used for your FSA ID. 
    • Read the SAR carefully to check for accuracy.
    • Make sure Bristol School Code 002176 is listed so we will receive your data.
    • If 002176 is not listed, use your FSA ID to log back into your completed FAFSA. Select the "School Selection" tab and add Bristol's code. Sign and submit the FAFSA with your FSA ID.
    • If you have your DRN (you can find it on the confirmation page you received upon completing the FAFSA), the Financial Aid Office can add Bristol's code for you. Provide the Office with your DRN, Social Security Number, full name, and date of birth.

  5. Respond to requests for information promptly.
    • You will be contacted by email by the Bristol Financial Aid Office if additional information is needed to complete your file.
    • Massachusetts residents may also be contacted by the Massachusetts Office of Student Assistance for additional information.
    • Rhode Island residents may also be contacted by the Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority for additional information.

I completed my file. What's next?

Once all requested documents have been received, the Financial Aid Office will review your file and you will be notified that either additional documentation is needed or that an award decision has been made.

Your bill will show a pending payment and you will receive consideration for a book advance once ALL of the following conditions are met:

  • An award decision has been made by the Bristol Financial Aid Office. 
  • No additional documents are needed.
  • Revised FAFSA results have been received by the Financial Aid Office (if corrections were needed). 
  • You are admitted and registered in an eligible program. 
  • You are enrolled at the level indicated on your award letter. 
  • You are making satisfactory academic progress. 
  • If a loan was offered, you have accepted the loan and then followed up with the entrance counseling and promissory note requirements.

Check your Financial Aid Status

You can check your application and award status through your  account. To check your financial aid application for missing documents, log into your accessBCC account, then go to: My Quick Links > Financial Aid > My Eligibility > Student Requirements.

To check your award status, log in to your accessBCC and then go to: My Quick Links > Financial Aid > My Award. 

Documentation sent to the Financial Aid Office is scanned and indexed through a document imaging system. During peak periods, it can take up to a week for information to appear as received. Please allow mailing and scanning time when checking your application status. The information you view through accessBCC is the same information viewable to the Enrollment Services staff. 

Be sure to check out the Need to Know Info page for information regarding deadlines, reapplying, special circumstances, and tax return information.