To Begin the Financial Aid Process:
Gathering the Documents Needed to Apply
Financial Aid To Do List:
- As soon as possible after its Oct. 1 release, complete and submit your FAFSA® form, along with any other financial aid applications your chosen school(s) may require. You should submit your FAFSA form by the earliest financial aid deadline of the schools to which you are applying, usually by early February.
- After you submit the FAFSA form, you should receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) within three days to three weeks. This document lists your answers to the questions on your FAFSA form and gives you some basic information about your aid eligibility. Quickly make any necessary corrections and submit them to the FAFSA processor.
- Understand the FAFSA process better by watching the videos in the “FAFSA: Apply for Aid” playlist at YouTube.com/FederalStudentAid.
- Follow or like the office of Federal Student Aid at Twitter.com/FAFSA and Facebook.com/FederalStudentAid to get regular financial aid tips.
- Review your college acceptances and compare the colleges’ financial aid offers.
- Contact a school’s financial aid office if you have questions about the aid that school has offered you. In fact, getting to know your financial aid staff early is a good idea no matter what—they can tell you about deadlines, other aid for which you might wish to apply, and important paperwork you might need to submit.
- When you decide which school you want to attend, notify that school of your commitment and submit any required financial deposit. Many schools require this notification and deposit by May 1.
- Make informed decisions about student loans. Federal Versus Private Loans and Federal Student Loans: Basics for Students are important resources at this point.