FINANCIAL AID AWARENESS NIGHT IS SEPTEMBER 20, 2016
What is Financial Aid?
Financial aid is money that can help you pay for college. Some aid needs to be paid back or earned, and some aid is a gift. This money is available to all kinds of people.
When can you apply for Financial Aid?
You can and should apply as early as October 1 through www.fafsa.ed.gov. You will need your income tax information from 2015 in order to complete your application.
You should get your FSA ID ASAP in order to sign the FAFSA form. You should request a FSA ID through https://fsaid.ed.gov/. Both you and your parents need to request an ID. This takes some time to complete and is required before you can complete your FAFSA. The FAFSA is available on October 1 for you to complete.
There are four main sources of financial aid:
You have to apply to qualify for financial aid. If you don’t fill out financial aid forms, you won’t get any aid. Even if you think you may not qualify, you should still submit the forms.
Types of Aid:
Complete the form online at www.fafsa.ed.gov or download paper forms there. You can even import your family’s tax information directly from the IRS website.
The CSS PROFILE short for the College Scholarship Service Profile, is an application distributed by the College Board in the United States allowing college students to apply for financial aid. It is primarily designed to give private member institutions of the College Board a closer look into the finances of a student and family. Each CSS Profile costs a fee, varying from year to year.
Generally, colleges with early acceptance programs (student receives admission decision before the new year) use the CSS PROFILE to make preliminary financial aid decisions because the FAFSA is not available until after January 1. Then after student completes the FAFSA (the official financial aid application) colleges may then make adjustments to their financial aid awards if necessary. There are over 400 colleges that require applicants to complete the CSS Profile.
Please follow this link for more information on the profile as well as a list of schools that require it and instructions for completing the CSS Profile. The CSS Profile can be completed ASAP.
Merit Based vs. Need Based Aid:
Merit includes a variety of categories: academic, artistic, athletic, and the list goes on. Scholarships are the most common type of merit–based aid (though some do have a need-based component). Assuming need is not a condition, a student with extensive assets and income is just as entitled to a merit-based award as a student with limited assets and income.
Federal student aid is need–based. That means it doesn't discriminate by any factor apart from need. Eligibility is based solely on the assets and income of the prospective student and his or her family. Factors such as test scores or athletic ability have no bearing on any aid designated need–based.