New Students

This page is designed to help prospective and new students get started and complete the financial aid process.

Here is a quick checklist and guide to help you jump start the financial aid process.

  • Create your FSA ID or retrieve your existing FSA ID.
  • File your 2017-18 FAFSA, or if you have already filed your FAFSA, use your FSA ID and password to have your FAFSA sent to Porter and Chester Institute.  Our FAFSA code is: PCI Hamden – 007305; All other PCI campuses – 010779
  • Complete online student loan entrance counseling.
  • Complete your Direct Loan Master Promissory Note online.
  • Consider additional funding sources.


You will need:

  1. Email address
  2. Social Security number
  3. Mobile phone number

The FSA ID serves as a legal signature and should not be shared with anyone. Your username does not expire, but your FSA ID password will expire every 18 months unless you change it.

What is it?
A username and password used to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites and your electronic signature.

Who needs it?
Student and, if dependent student, at least one parent.

How long does it take?
You can request your FSA ID in minutes. And you may use it immediately to sign an original (first-time) FAFSA. All other activities require verification with Social Security Administration; this may take 1-3 days.

For more information, check out…

How to create your FSA ID
What to do if I forgot my FSA ID username
What to do if I forgot my FSA ID password


For 2017-18 FAFSA you will need:

  1. FSA ID (student and parent of dependent student)
  2. Social Security Number (student and parents of dependent student)
  3. Driver’s license number
  4. Alien registration number, if not a U.S. citizen
  5. 2015 Federal tax return, W-2 Form (student and parents of dependent student)
  6. Untaxed income records (student and parents of dependent student)
  7. Information on account balances, investments, and assets (student and parents of dependent student)

You will have to renew your FAFSA annually.

What is it?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Who needs it?
Any student who wants to use federal student aid for college or technical school must complete the FAFSA. Also, many states use the FAFSA to determine eligibility for state grants.

How long does it take?
Completing the FAFSA can take up to 30 minutes for an initial application. Renewals will take less time.

For more information, check out…
Filling out the FAFSA Form

FAFSA Overview
How to fill out the FAFSA
FAFSA: Determining your dependency status
FAFSA and FSA ID tips for parents
Overview of the financial aid process

3. Loan Counseling & MPN

You will need:

  1. Student FSA ID
  2. School name
  3. Student address
  4. Telephone number
  5. Email address
  6. Reference information for two people with different U.S. addresses who have known you for at least 3 years

First-time borrowers of Direct Loans must complete Entrance Counseling. During the session, you will learn your rights and responsibilities as a borrower.

You also must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN), a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan.

For more information, check out…
Entrance Counseling
Master Promissory Note

Responsible borrowing

4. Additional Funding

Going to college is an investment in your future. It requires time, money, and effort.

Once you’ve decided on your program, the next question is how to pay for it. Federal student aid may not cover the full cost. An outstanding balance may be paid by cash payments, credit card payments, scholarships, Parent PLUS Loans, or private loans.

For more information, check out…
Types of federal student aid

Types of federal student aid
Responsible borrowing