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Tuesday 2.7.2023

National Application Center :: pay for college

Plan, explore, and apply to college using these great tools.
Steps to Financial Aid

Steps to Financial Aid

By the fall of your senior year in high school, you should have

Now you are ready to take the next steps.

For some students, having made their college choices and having determined based on the total cost of attendance that their families will not be eligible for financial aid based on demonstrated financial need, the next step is either to check out payment plans and/or non-need-based merit scholarships offered by colleges, or to look into non-need-based loans.

For the vast majority of you who are eligible for need-based financial aid, the steps below will help you apply for financial aid.

1. Find out and comply with each college's admission and financial aid application deadlines.

2. Review your scholarship checklist and gather and complete the necessary forms; meet the deadlines.

3. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for aid through the federal government.

4. If your college choices require copies of parent income tax forms, be sure to submit them as soon after January 1 as they are completed.

5. If required by your college choices, complete the College Board PROFILE application for financial aid.

6. Complete any additional college-specific financial aid forms that may be required.

7. Review the Student Aid Report (SAR) you'll receive on the basis of your completed FAFSA.

8. Review the CSS Acknowledgment you'll receive once your PROFILE application has been processed.

9. Review financial aid award packages

10. Remember it's not just about the sticker price, the bottom line, and the grant/loan ratio.