FAFSA should have been filed by the 15th of February: Conquering FAFSA application
By this time, your FAFSA should have been filed if you want to get your share of federal and state grant money (free money). These grants are income based, which means that most of these grants will be for low-income and middle-income families. There are limited amounts of money available and it is giving on a first come first basis. I have always urged my students and their parents to file their FAFSA by the 15th of February or as soon as possible after they have completed their income taxes.
If you haven’t yet file your FAFSA, I recommend that you file it as soon as possible because the colleges and universities will be sending out most of their financial aid packages in the next six weeks and the information on this application is crucial. Keep in mind that where you will eventually attend will depend on financial help unless you are well to do.
Acceptances and financial aid packages should be arriving in the second half of February right through the first half of April: Enjoy the fruits of your labor
Some of you have already received acceptances from many institutions and if you haven’t, they will begin to arrive in next six weeks depending on the caliber of institutions that you have applied to. Some of the less competitive schools will send out their acceptances in the beginning of the second semester but the selective colleges and universities will send out their acceptances closer to the 15th of April. These schools will send their admission acceptances with their financial aid packages to follow. The exception is early decision programs for these selective schools. No matter what type of school that you apply to, you will not get a financial aid package unless all of the applications that the particular school requires are submitted. It is imperative that you check with each institution that you have applied to and make sure that they have all of your information.
Comparing your financial aid packages with the information and forms on the website below: Conquering your financial aid packages
In the second half of April (for most of you) you will have the pleasure of comparing your financial aid packages from all of the schools that you been accepted to. It is very important that you and your parents with the help from your guidance counselor sit down and go over every package with a fine tooth comb to see where you can attend with the least amount of loans over the four years of undergraduate education. Before you begin your comparisons of your packages, if there is a school that you really want to attend but the package is not what you expected, you and your parents can call the financial aid office and ask for a little more help. Most schools will make some adjustments to your financial aid package if you make a strong case of your financial need.
You can go to the website below for more information and forms that will help you in making your package comparisons.