The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens to seniors on October 1st. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible and check with the schools they are applying so they are sure to meet the school's deadline.
Each student and parent will need a FSA ID that can be obtained prior to when the FAFSA opens. You can also start to gather the information that will be needed so you are ready to apply.
On October 1st, students can log in and complete the FAFSA, www.fafsa.gov. This determines your eligibility for federal grants, work-study, and loan programs. The FAFSA is often used to determine state and institutional aid as well.
Once the FAFSA is submitted, students should hear back from the US Department of Education within a couple of weeks. You will receive a SAR (Student Aid Report). Any necessary changes can be made on the FAFSA website.
You may be asked by one or more schools to verify information submitted on the FAFSA. Simply complete the paperwork and send it back to the school(s) as soon as possible.
You will receive Award Letters from each college that received your FAFSA information and you have been admitted to. The letter will address the financial aid package you could receive by that school. The financial aid package may include grants, work-study and loans. It may also show scholarships from that school that you would be awarded.
If you are interested in looking for more scholarships, there are many scholarship search sites out there. Remember, you should not pay any money for a search. Check out the Scholarships page and Links on the VHS Counseling & Career Center webpage.
Federal Student Aid information can be found at https://studentaid.gov/. More information on the steps that come after you have filled out and submitted your FAFSA, go to https://studentaid.gov/articles/5-things-after-fafsa/.
A select group of schools may require the College Board’s CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, https://cssprofile.collegeboard.org/, in addition to the FAFSA. The PROFILE does charge a fee, so be sure to check with the schools you are applying to regarding if this form is also required.