College Financial Aid
Financial aid is usually awarded in a "package," which can consist of one or all of the following components: a scholarship or grant (usually directly from the university) which does not need to be repaid, a loan (usually from the federal government), and an on-campus job. Distribution is often based on financial need. Most financial assistance is administered through the financial aid office of individual colleges. Therefore, care should be taken to make application for financial aid at each of the colleges to which the student applies. We offer the following links for your information and reference.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The Federal government will process this form free of charge. Almost every college or university requires this form. It asks families to supply information about their income and assets and is most easily filled out using a completed tax return (questions will refer to specific lines of the 1040 or 1040A). The FAFSA will be available in early January of the senior year and may be filed electronically at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
The deadline for submission is March 2nd.
College Board's Profile Form
Most private colleges and universities require more information than the FAFSA can provide. Therefore, many of these schools will ask the financial aid applicant to complete the PROFILE. The PROFILE application consists of an initial registration form and is available in the College Counseling Office (or online), which should be completed in the fall of the senior year, as soon as the student's list of colleges to which he or she will apply is finalized. The College Board will process the initial PROFILE registration form and will return to the family forms that have been customized to gather the information required by each of the schools listed on the initial form. Since the College Board is gathering this information on behalf of the participating schools, there is a processing fee of $25.00 for the first report, and $16.00 for each additional report. www.collegeboard.org
Because some colleges objected to the high fees associated with the PROFILE form, they choose to request additional information using a form they developed in-house. Be aware, however, a few colleges require the FAFSA, the PROFILE, and their own institutional form! Because colleges often differ in their requirements for students to receive financial aid, students should contact the financial aid office at the schools they wish to attend to determine which forms are necessary and to request these forms be forwarded to them.
College Board Online
Best authority on CSS Profile and the SAT's excellent/useful EXPAN database with ability to search for colleges based on up to 6 criteria: monthly calendar for students and parents; getting the most of your high school experience; list of loan sources with descriptions; financial aid calculators for students and parents; over 300 applications available online; testing information; essay critiquing services; lists of available publications.
America's most widely accepted college entrance exam and more! ACT provides educational and career planning for students and teachers at every level.
Excellent private scholarship/grant search vehicle as students create a user ID and profile and request scholarship applications electronically. This site also provides a college search function.
The "ultimate" guide to financial aid resources providing links to any and all financial aid sites. It is easily navigated and sorted into list of financial aid topics.
Nonprofit provider of education loans: good information on the differences between private and federal loans; selecting the right loan for educational needs.
Good source of information regarding ROTC scholarships, as self-described by each branch of the military.
Financial aid calculators: how to find, compare and manage loans; information on loans as part of financial aid packages; frequently asked questions.
U.S. Department of Education
Good overview of available federal financial aid.