Tips, Tricks, and Timely Information about the Application Process

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Financial Aid

Do Your Homework: research and paperwork
This is tedious but critical. Missed deadlines or incomplete forms will ensure that you don’t receive aid.

Research the financial aid deadlines and forms required by each college on your list. While every college requires the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), approximately 200 require the CSS profile as well. Some of these schools will also require divorced or separated parents to submit a non-custodial Parent Profile. Self- employed parents may be asked to submit additional forms. Note that some schools require their own aid applications. (Reminds you of those extra essays required schools that accept the Common App…doesn’t it?) Once you know all the requirements and deadlines, create a simple but foolproof check off system.

Read These Articles and Make Informed Decisions

The Forbes Magazine's Guide to Financial Aid, the FAFSA and CSS Profile | by Troy Onink

Financial Aid 101 | U.S. News and World Report

Understanding Your Financial Award Letter: Read Between its Lines!

Learn How to Make Sense of Your Financial Aid Letter | By Alana Mbanza

Most college students need — and obtain— some financial aid. Don't let "sticker-shock” deter you from applying to a first, second, or third choice college.

Your Favorite New Tool: Net Price Calculator
The Department of Education demands that all colleges post a Net Price Calculator on their websites. You’ll find that the actual net price of a college is often lower than its sticker price. Of course, there are strategic ways to improve your eligibility Finaid.org provides a great deal of relevant information.