In order for students to secure financial aid for college, there is a necessary application process that families need to complete in order to be considered for all forms of financial aid. EVERY year, the student will need to complete a number of documents in order to be considered for financial aid.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) needs to be completed by ALL STUDENTS in order to be considered for Federal, State, and institutional aid sources. As the name suggests, it is FREE to file this financial aid form. Students complete the fafsa online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov as soon as possible after January 1st of their senior year. The information from a student’s FAFSA is sent to every school that they apply to and allows the colleges to determine what aid sources they are eligible for.
In addition, SOME PRIVATE COLLEGES also require students to complete the CSS Profile Form. There is a fee to file this form. Students can file this form online at The College Board and see a complete list of the private schools that require this document as part of the financial aid application process. Click here for more information on the CSS Profile Form.
Institutional applications (from the college) may also be required by some colleges, mainly the ones that do not require the CSS Profile Form. Check with each of the colleges that you plan to apply to regarding any and all financial aid application requirements.