Aid for college is provided in the form of financial aid. Grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and loans are all examples of financial aid. Financial help is crucial for most students in order to afford college.
Approximately two thirds of college students receive financial aid based on the financial situation of their family. Financial aid of this kind is commonly referred to as “need-based.” Most students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Help, generally known as the FAFSA, in order to be considered for need-based financial aid. Check the list of schools that utilize CSS Profile to see if you also need to complete it.
The government and the college use these applications to evaluate your eligibility for several forms of financial aid that can lessen the cost of attending college. You can also get financial aid from other places, such regional and national scholarship programs, as well as merit-based awards that are given out in accordance with your accomplishments, skills, and other qualities. Grants and scholarships are unearned funds that don’t require repayment. You or your parent may take out loans, which must be paid back, typically after you graduate or cease attending school. We advise all students to apply for financial aid so they are aware of their alternatives.
How to submit/apply for a financial aid application?
Filling out the financial assistance applications requested by the universities you’re interested in is how you apply for financial help. You must enter demographic, financial, and other details about you and your family in the web-based applications CSS Profile and FAFSA. Find out how to complete the CSS Profile and the FAFSA.
You might need to fill out more financial aid forms. You might need to fill out a different application for state-based financial help depending on your state. You might need to complete out extra documents provided by colleges in order to apply for institutional financial help.
Examining the standards for each college’s financial assistance application is the best method to figure out what you need to submit. You can increase your chances of receiving the financial aid you deserve by completing all the necessary documents.
When do I submit a financial aid application?
Every year on October 1st, both the FAFSA and CSS Profile are made accessible. In the fall of your senior year of high school, you should submit the necessary financial aid applications.
Although you may have later financial aid deadlines if you’re already enrolled in college, we advise filing financial aid applications as soon as you can. Keep in mind that you must submit a financial assistance application each year you intend to attend college.
What is the EFC (Expected Family Contribution)?
After submitting your FAFSA, you will be given a Student Aid Report (SAR). The Student Aid Report is a summary of the information in your application. Check that all of your information is correct and look at your expected family contribution (EFC). Your EFC is a number used by college financial aid offices to calculate the amount of need-based financial aid you will receive if you attend their school. Your expected family contribution is determined by the information you provide on the FAFSA.
Your expected family contribution reflects your family’s financial resources and situation.
A $0 expected family contribution indicates that your family has few or no resources to help pay for college, whereas a higher expected family contribution indicates that your family is expected to have resources to assist in paying for college. A low expected family contribution also means you are more likely to qualify for need-based assistance.
The Pell Grant, for example, is a common grant given to students with lower expected family contributions. It’s important to note that your expected family contribution does not equal the amount you’ll pay for college out of pocket. The amount you pay directly to the college is determined by the amount of financial aid you receive as well as the tuition, fees, and other expenses charged by the college.
Even if you believe you are ineligible for financial aid due to your family’s income, you should still apply to see what you are eligible for.
What happens next after I apply for financial assistance?
After submitting the FAFSA (and, if necessary, the CSS Profile), you will receive a financial aid offer from each college that has accepted you.
The financial aid offer will indicate how much aid you are eligible to receive. Costs and financial aid awards may differ between colleges. Review each offer carefully to ensure that you fully understand the types of financial aid available, any conditions for receiving your awards, and whether the total amount of your aid will cover your college expenses.
After you commit to a college, the money from your college’s financial aid offer will be applied to your college bill automatically.
If you receive any other outside scholarships or private loans, contact the scholarship or loan provider to find out how the money will be distributed to your college.
Financial aid is frequently what makes college affordable for many students and families, so it is critical to apply for financial aid early and investigate all of your options for lowering your college costs. For more information, see our article on College Bill Payment Options.Apply lFAFSA Application CSS Prifile