* Financial Aid Toolkit - https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/resources
* 2018-19 FAFSA FAQ - https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/data-center/student/application-volume/faq
* Creating an FSA ID- https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/fsaid
* FSA ID Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7ihhGk8mCY
* Anyone submitting an electronic FAFSA must create an FSA ID. This is something seniors can do now!
Steps for Applying for Financial Aid
- Apply for admission as well as financial aid – Before a student’s chances for aid can be determined, many colleges require both an application for admission and for financial aid. Since application deadlines vary from institution to institution, you may want to develop a calendar of important dates. In any case, it’s wise to apply as early as you can.
- Submit required financial aid forms – File all forms for financial aid consideration at the college(s) you are contemplating. This includes the correct year’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Note: Students should file only one FASFA regardless of how many colleges they are considering. The FAFSA includes a section for the student to list the colleges to which they want their information sent.
Contact your counselor to obtain a FASFA form or electronic filling information. If you have questions about completing the application, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (800-433-3243). During your senior year, complete the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible.
The FAFSA collects demographic and financial information from students and parents to be used to determine an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) – The figure used to determine a student’s eligibility for Federal Pell Grants, other federal financial aid programs, and many state programs. The EFC is determined according to formulas set periodically by the U.S. Congress.
Students should also check with each college to determine if there are additional forms the college requires them to file. Be sure to file all forms in time to meet the colleges’ financial aid application deadlines. Note: Admissions and financial aid deadlines are often different; be sure to meet each requirement.
- Apply for scholarships and grants – Besides aid offered directly by a college and aid for which your need analysis form is an automatic application (For example, a Federal Pell Grant), be sure to inquire about state scholarship, grant, and loan programs. Ask about institutional, community, foundation, and corporation programs as well.
Keep track of progress – Monitor all the information you receive from individual college business offices regarding fees, payment schedules, etc. Include this information in your college planning.
Federal Direct Loans: Loans made by the federal government directly to qualifying students and parents through participating colleges.
Federal Perkins Loan Program: Loans funded by the federal government and awarded by the institution. The loans feature low interest rates and are repayable over an extended period of time.
Federal PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) Program: Provides low-interest federal leans to credit-approved parents of eligible undergraduate students. Repayment begins 60 days after loan funds are disbursed. Loans are available from participating banks, lending institutions, and participating Direct Lending schools.
Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program: Provides low interest federal loans which are not based on need and the student must pay the interest while in school. Repayment begins after the student leaves school.
Federal Pell Grant: Financial assistance awarded by the federal government on the basis of need and designed to provide the “floor” of an aid package for post-secondary education. The grant may be used for tuition, room and board, books, or other educational costs, and requires no repayment.
Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan Program: Provides low-interest federal loans to eligible students through banks, lending institutions and participating Direct Loan schools. It is based on need, and the interest is paid by the federal government for qualifying students while they are enrolled at least half-time. Repayment begins after the student leaves school.
Federal Work-Study: A government-supported financial aid program coordinated through financial aid offices whereby an eligible student (based on need) may work part time while attending class at least half-time, generally in career-related jobs.