Schools have different identification numbers for different purposes. If you're applying for financial aid to go to a college or university, you'll probably want to know the federal number used for that purpose. If you're taking standardized tests like the SAT, you'll want to know the College Board's codes for your high school or college. If you work for a school, you may need to know its employer ID number to file your taxes.
Federal Codes for Financial Aid
If you're applying for financial aid to attend a college or university in the United States, you'll likely fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form to get access to federal aid and some private scholarships.
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This form asks for six-digit federal school codes for schools where you're applying for aid. You can also use these same codes to look up various federal data about colleges, like tuition costs and graduation rates.
You can get these codes from the Department of Education, through its website or by calling its help desk. Your college may also provide you with its federal code.
College Board Codes
The College Board, the nonprofit that administers standardized tests like the SAT and Advanced Placement exams, has its own set of codes for high schools and colleges. When you take these tests, you'll need to know the code for your current school and schools where you're applying or planning to attend to get your grades to the right place. These codes are sometimes called CEEB (College Entrance Examination Board) codes.
You can look up these codes at the College Board's website or your school may provide you with the appropriate codes. Schools that are also testing sites, where you can take various exams, may have different codes as test sites than as grade recipients, so make sure you use the right College Board codes for the right purpose.
Other standardized exams you might take, like the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) to attend graduate school, might have their own sets of codes. Talk to the agency that administers a particular test or visit its website to find the appropriate code for your school. You can also ask someone at your school for help.
The ACT exam, used in applying to college instead of the SAT, also has its own set of school codes.
Other ID Numbers
Schools have a variety of other ID numbers for different purposes, just as an individual can have a Social Security number, a driver's license number as well as other ID numbers. If your employer is a school, for instance, and you're filing your taxes, you may need to know the school's EIN (employer identification number). This should be available on your W-2 tax form or from the school.
If you're not sure of any other identification number for your school, or you're unsure which number to use in a particular situation, your school may be able to help you.