Southwest Towers (East Tower)

Applying for Aid

News | Published: January 19, 2021

Everyone who wants to attend college must fill out what is known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. This is just the form schools use to figure out how much money they can offer your child toward attendance, plus what kinds of aid the student qualify for. A few facts to know:

  • The FAFSA is a form the parent and the child must complete each school year
  • Types of aid it covers include federal grants, work-study programs, state aid and school aid – all of which we recommend
  • It also covers loans, which is a terrible idea…but if you must
  • The FAFSA does have a deadline that can vary by state and school. First both the student and parent will need to apply for the FSA ID. The unique ID will be used as electronic signature for the FAFSA application and the Promissory notes for loans.
  • Next, the US. Department of Education will process your application within 3-5 days
  • Once you and the student have submitted the FAFSA, you will receive a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR), which summarizes the information you provided on your FAFSA application. The SAR report will include an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) estimating how much your family can afford to pay for college
  • Your SAR is sent to the colleges you listed on your FAFSA
  • Each college will then look at those numbers and send an award letter saying what kind of federal and nonfederal aid your student can get
  • Make sure you understand if your child is being offered a scholarship or grant
  • Your child can keep getting financial aid all throughout college, so they should fill out the FAFSA form every year!
  • It is important to remember that some colleges have their own financial aid application and deadline. Students should plan to contact the financial aid office at the college to find out if there are additional requirements

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