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Financial Aid Eligibility Forms & Procedures

FINANCIAL AID ELIGIBILITY FORMS & PROCEDURES


Financial Aid Eligibility Forms


1. FAFSA

In order to determine eligibility of any financial aid (even items that are not need based), a family must complete the FAFSA to determine the expected family contribution.


You can register for a FSA ID and access the online application at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Use the FAFSA4caster for an early estimate of your EFC. Paper applications are only available by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-Aid.


The FAFSA cannot be filed prior to January 1st of a student’s senior year in high school but should be completed and mailed by February 15th. Once your colleges receive the EFC, they will determine your eligibility for financial aid.


2. CSS Profile (College Board’s College Scholarship Service)

The other major financial aid form that several hundred usually selective, private colleges use is the CSS. The Profile collects more specific data than the FAFSA and sends it to colleges. Since there is a cost for this service, students should check directly with the college or scholarship foundation to be sure the Profile is required. Families can complete this form early in the senior year and should do so at www.collegeboard.com.




Special Circumstances

Divorced Families

The FAFSA considers only the custodial parent’s income and if remarried, the new spouse’s assets as well. A custodial parent is defined as the parent with whom the child has resided for more than 6 months during the last 12-month period. Some colleges, however, use non-custodial parent information to determine what they will do with their own contribution.


Independent Student

To be independent, the student must be at least 24, a ward of the court, married, a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, or have children.


Change in Financial Status

If your financial situation changes after you file the FAFSA, you should send a letter to the financial aid administrator of the college explaining this change.


Extraordinary Expenses

If you have expenses like extraordinary medical bills or private tuition costs for other children in the family, you should also document those expenses and send it to the colleges.







Award Letters

The colleges you have listed will receive the results from your FAFSA and may request additional information. Then the college financial aid officer will evaluate the information to determine the student’s financial aid award. They will send you this in an official document called an award letter. An award letter will illustrate the total cost of attendance and your aid from all the various federal, state, and college sources. Comparison of your award letters should aid your ultimate college decision.





Timeline

Follow this suggested timeline to complete your financial aid and college applications. 

Fall Senior Year:
1. Apply to colleges 
2. Get your FSA ID
3. Calculate your EFC
4. Apply for scholarships

Jan 1 – Feb 15

March – April
1. Receive award letters from colleges
2. Apply for scholarships

May 1st
1. Make final college acceptance decision
          2. Apply for scholarships
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