You’ve Submitted FAFSA. Now What?
by Jennifer Ledwith |firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: this article is intended to impart general information and not specific advice.
Last week, I discussed the potential benefits of completing the FAFSA, CSS Profile, or TASFA . This week’s ScholarSpot focuses on the the financial aid process.
6 Steps Of the Financial Aid Process
- Submit FAFSA, CSS Profile, TASFA, or a combination of these financial aid forms. What forms does your prospective college require? What is the financial aid deadline for your prospective college? Financial aid is often awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
- The administrators of the financial aid forms will calculate how much your family can afford to spend on higher education. The administrator of the FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education, will send you (the student) a Student Aid Report (SAR) with your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
- The Department of Education will send your FAFSA information in an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) to your prospective colleges.
- Your prospective colleges will use your financial information to determine how much financial aid (grants, loans, work-study, and scholarships) to award you.
- The prospective colleges that have accepted you will send a financial aid award letter to you.
- You can accept, decline, reduce, or negotiate the loans, grants, work-study, and scholarship awards on the financial aid award letter from the college.
When your family learns what the government thinks of your ability to pay for college — ostensibly represented by your EFC — your parent may ask: Where am I going to get $XX,XXX to pay for my kid’s education when I have only $X,XXX per year or $XXX per year to spend? Don’t get discouraged. Do this instead.
4 Things To Do In Addition To Submitting FAFSA, CSS Profile, or TASFA
- Apply for the college’s scholarships, for you could win a merit-based scholarship. (Yes, in many instances, you still need to submit the financial aid forms to win a merit-based scholarship.)
- Keep an open mind about prospective colleges. Other colleges may offer better financial aid packages than your dream school. What difference does this make? Read “Full Ride or Dream School.”
- Some schools will give students more money if they improve their SAT and ACT scores. Prepare for the exam and re-take the SAT or ACT.
- As you’re waiting for the school’s financial aid award letter, keep applying for scholarships. Check out these sources of private scholarships (scholarships not awarded by colleges and universities).
- Alvin ISD: https://www.alvinisd.net/Page/2936
- Cypress-Fairbanks ISD: https://www.cfisd.net/Page/1814
- Galena Park ISD: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CgETsjV89s1Z7Hbsb9LBVKUMcvHq7zKgas_3WiCSaM8/edit#gid=1406960095
- Humble ISD: https://www.humbleisd.net/page/31024
- Pearland ISD: https://www.pearlandisd.org/Page/11267
- Richardson ISD: https://schools.risd.org/Page/5018
- Santa Fe ISD: https://www.sfisd.org/Page/3508
Students, even if you don’t attend school in these districts, you may still qualify for scholarships on these lists. Good luck!