Getting Started

Application Process

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A Beginner's Guide To Starting The Student Financial Aid Application Process

So you’re ready to apply for financial aid online. Where do you begin? What do you need to know? What are the essential steps that need to be completed before completing and submitting financial aid applications?

How To Apply For Financial Aid: First Steps

After you have submitted applications for admission to the institution(s) of your choice, apply for federal financial aid by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Click here for more information about the FAFSA financial aid application form.

You must fill out a new FAFSA federal financial aid application form for each year you plan to be enrolled in school. The best time to apply for college financial aid is between January 1 and March 1, since most schools award student aid on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here for a Senior-Year Calendar, which outlines the College Financial Aid Application Process.

Once you complete the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which will give you an opportunity to correct previously reported “incorrect information” before the form is sent from the Department of Education to your school.

It’s never too early to start researching your options. Fill out online financial aid applications for student loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study programs according to your specific needs.

> Click here to continue to the next section - the Financial Aid Planning Calendar

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