Financial aid timeline: keep up with deadlines and the application process

Financial aid timeline: keep up with deadlines and the application process


* If you’re applying for early decision, remember that most schools have deadlines in mid-November.

* Search and apply for scholarships. Many will have deadlines over the next few months.


* Complete your FAFSA, but do not mail it until January 1. Make sure you’ve properly signed and dated the document. Any mistakes can delay the process and result in lost aid.

* Keep copies of everything you mail!


* Submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after the 1st.

* Complete the PROFILE aid form also if your school requires it.


* This is Financial Aid Awareness Month. Try to attend financial aid information nights scheduled at many high schools and colleges.

* Many students receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) this month indicating their expected family contribution. Make any corrections to the SAR, including updates based on your family’s tax forms.

* Sign, date, return the SAR to the address designated.


* Receive a corrected SAR if needed.

* Make sure a copy of the corrected SAR reaches the financial aid office at each college you’re applying to.


* Many applicants receive notices of admission and financial aid this month. Start to compare offers.

* Study for May AP exams. High scores equal college credit and big savings.


* May 1 is the traditional Candidate’s Reply Date. You must accept an offer from one school and decline all others.

* Complete any loan forms (for Stafford, PLUS, etc.).


* Consider working during the summer so you will have money for expenses when you arrive on campus.

* Continue to look for scholarships. You will need funds beyond freshman year and new scholarships appear every year. Make note which of your awards are renewable.

COPYRIGHT 2004 EM Guild, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group