Financial Aid

You’re ready to apply to college. You need money to make it happen. What do you do?In almost all cases – whether you are looking at public or private, two year or four year, or a technical college – you start by filling out the FAFSA.What’s the FAFSA? It stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA qualifies you to receive grants, loans and work study available through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid. By filling out the FAFSA you determine your Expected Family Contribution or what you should be able to pay toward your education. The FAFSA for the 2011-2012 school year goes online January 1st.

What are the requirements?

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number (unless you’re from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau).
  • Be registered with Selective Service if you are male and 18 to 25 years of age (go to www.sss.gov for more information).
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate or pass an exam approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program at a school that participates in the federal student aid programs.

Filling out the FAFSA takes financial information from both you and your parents and must be signed electronically with a PIN. For more information and to fill out the FAFSA go to www.fafsa.ed.gov . For a PIN go to www.pin.ed.gov You should apply for a PIN in the month prior to filling out the FAFSA.

Many private colleges and universities also require students to fill out the CSS Profile or their own form to qualify for Financial Aid. The Profile is usually due much earlier than the FAFSA. Please check with the colleges you are applying to for their requirements.

USEFUL LINKS

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Get an early estimate of your EFC

FAFSA4caster

FinAid EFC Calculator

Apply for a PIN
www.pin.ed.gov

Fill out the FAFSA
www.fafsa.ed.gov

Register with Selective Service
www.sss.gov

Fill out the CSS Profile

CSS Profile

Need Help Decoding your Financial Aid Award Letter?Check out: www.financialaidletter.com