As you finalize your college list pay close attention to the affordability of each school so that you do not waste time and money applying to colleges that are not affordable for your family.
Even more importantly, you want to avoid a situation where you fall in love with a “dream” school only to find out after you have been admitted that it is not an affordable option.
It is very important to start planning for the financial application process at the beginning of senior year. Too often, students and parents lose sight of financial aid application requirements and deadlines as they focus on the admissions application.
The Applying for Aid video provides an overview of the financial aid application process.
The Financial Aid Application Manager will help you keep track of all financial aid requirement and deadlines.
You will need to visit the financial aid website for each of your target schools to find information about their requirements and deadlines.
Carefully record all financial aid requirements and deadlines. Set reminders in your personal calendar so that you won’t miss any deadlines.
The FAFSA is available each year starting on October 1. We recommend that you complete the FAFSA in October even if your target schools have later FAFSA deadlines.
The CSS Profile is also available each year starting on October 1. If you are applying early (either Early Decision or Early Action) to any schools that require the CSS Profile, then the deadline will likely be November 1 or November 15. Regular Decision deadlines generally range from mid-January to mid-March.
Most schools using the CSS Profile now require non-custodial parents to complete the standard CSS Profile, which is available on October 1st.
If you are applying early (either Early Decision or Early Action) to any schools that require non-custodial parent information, the submission deadline will likely be November 1st or November 15th. Regular Decision deadlines generally range from mid-January to mid-March.
Don’t worry if you are just getting started on the Outside Scholarship process. Most outside scholarship application deadlines are in the winter and spring of senior year. That said, applying for outside scholarships is a lot of work so if you are just starting the process you have some catching up to do.