Tips for the Financial Aid Process

  • Fill out your FAFSA early to ensure you meet the deadline, especially for the Pell Grant.
  • Follow-up on the application; there are many people who filled out the form, never checked up on it and waited 8 months only to find out that they did not sign the form or it is rejected for other reasons. You can always call to get the status.
  • When getting your PIN, keep it in a safe place, you will be able to use this PIN for the life of your Financial Aid.
  • Keep in close contact with your school, they are the “good guys” and will be deciding your financial fate while in school.
  • Apply for as many scholarships as possible, it will not take much time and you could win enough money to get you though all 4 years of college and beyond.
  • If you have any questions regarding financial aid, policies, procedures, or school, do not hesitate to visit the ask the expert page and submit your questions.

Additional Help

Don’t forget that you need to fill out a new FAFSA each year. Deadlines start January 1 through June 30 every year. That means you need to get your application in as close to January 1 as possible, but you have until June 30 to send it in. If you forget to do a new form each year, you could lose your aid money.

When you fill out the application, double-check it to make sure every space is filled with something, even if it is just a “0” or “NA.” Remember to sign and mail the signature page if you do not use the electronic PIN. If you are a dependent student, your parents need to have their tax forms or income forms ready. If your status changes from dependent to independent, be prepared to show evidence of it for verification processes.

The signature page is extremely important. Dependent students must sign it along with their parents or guardians. You can register for a unique PIN on the FAFSA website in order to sign your application. It is the most secure way to send in your application and keep your information safe from prying eyes. If you decide to do the “print and mail” signature page, check to make sure the address is correct and that you mail it in soon after you finish the form.

Check your email daily soon after you submit the application. If you file electronically, you could get a response back within a few days. Sometimes the email from the Department of Education ends up in your SPAM folder, so check that, too.

Send in your documents quickly if you are chosen for FAFSA verification. Many students are chosen at random; they must provide paperwork like bank statements, tax records, and other income forms.