How to secure your information when filing your FAFSA

Financial aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available to all current or prospective college students in the U.S. The annual form determines your eligibility for financial aid, and assistance is free through Wayne State financial aid services. 


Applying for financial aid, if done wrong, can leave your personal information vulnerable to attacks.
  • Identity fraud: Any time you share personal information with an unsecured source online you are vulnerable to fraud or theft—and if you use third-party sites or companies to request financial aid, there's no knowing who has access to your information. Sites that offer to fill out your FAFSA or seek out financial aid for you may sell or share you information, leaving you vulnerable to identity fraud—which can be difficult to prove and take years to resolve. Financial aid assistance is a free service included in your tuition at most universities, including Wayne State. 
  • Financial aid fraud: This issue is two-fold—scammers can hack your account and wire your financial aid reimbursement to themselves, but lying on your FAFSA is also considered fraud and the penalities are serious.
    • If you've been the victim of a phishing email or call and have shared any personal information (including login credentials), scammers can use that info to log in to you Wayne State account, change your banking information and collect your financial aid for themselves.
    • On the other side of the coin, intentionally lying or using misleading information on your financial aid form can lead to thousands of dollars in fines, jail time, and of course, the responsibility of paying back any money you were awarded. Lying to get more can cost you more, so be honest about your financial standing when applying for aid.


If you are the victim of a phishing attack, have issues with your financial aid refund, or are just suspicious of a certain email, please contact the C&IT Help Desk or Student Accounts Receivable.

  • The Student Accounts Receivable office: Student Accounts Receivable employees will look at your account and view your balance or refund status and confirm if you owe the university money. If you think someone has changed your direct deposit bank information, check Academica to verify that it is accurate. If this information is incorrect, contact the Student Accounts Receivable office at 313-577-3653. 
  • The C&IT Help Desk: C&IT Help Desk employees see many phishing attempts each year and are trained to identify them. If you believe you have been a victim of a phishing attempt, us immediately at 313-577-4357. If you receive a phishing attempt you know to be fake, please forward it to our security staff at

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) – observed every October – was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.

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