Steps in Applying for Financial Aid

The following list offers seniors a "road map" of reminders for their final year in high school. While all of the items may not be relevant to all students, much of the information will have importance to most students.

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1st of your senior year. Note: For students who are currently a senior in the 2023/2024 school year the FAFSA form will be delayed until December 31, 2023 due to the number of changes in the FAFSA process. You will need a copy of the most recent (prior to October 1st) tax return to help in completing the FAFSA. For example, if you plan to enroll in college during the next fall semester, you will use tax information from the most recently completed tax year (i.e. for October 1, 2023, use tax year 2022) or you may consent to the Federal Tax Information (FTI) process within the FAFSA to retrieve and use tax information from the IRS in completing income questions within your FAFSA. If you and/or your parents filed a tax return, it is highly recommended that you provide consent for the FTI process.
  • Request financial aid information from the college or university you plan to attend. If you are not sure which one you will attend, request information from your top choices. Some, but not all, schools require an institutional financial aid application. This application is used to determine which financial aid programs in which you are interested, such as Grants, Loans, or College Work-Study. In some cases it may also act as a scholarship application. Be sure you know if scholarships require separateapplications. Don't forget to check with your academic department to see if there are scholarships available.
  • Reply in a timely manner to any request from the financial aid office for information or additional forms to complete your application.
  • If you apply for scholarships, make sure you have contacted people who may serve as references on your behalf. Let them know the importance of completing any reference forms in a timely manner, and also provide any deadline dates so they are aware of time restraints.
  • Follow up on you financial aid application by contacting the financial aid office to make sure all items needed have been received.
  • After you receive your award letter, review the aid offers and follow up with any additional items that may be needed for you to accept or decline the awards.

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