The contest for college admission starts from the time the forms are filled up. Any prospective U.S college student who wants to be considered for any kind of financial aid, must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and if anybody wishes to be chosen by the private schools, as well as a few state schools, then they may also have to fill the College Board’s CSS/ Financial Aid PROFILE application).
Once you have correctly entered the required data into a single form, or multiple forms, then you need to send the form to the need analysis company, which will verify the data and further send it to the colleges you want to apply to.
With the help of the FAFSA, the college will generate a Student Aid Report, which will specify the aid you can get.
If you also to filed the PROFILE form, then you will also receive an Acknowledgement/ Data Confirmation Report from the College Board, that shows the list of colleges to which the data has been sent.
Steps to follow while filing the FAFSA
In this section, we will discuss in detail about the various steps that one should follow in order to successfully fill out the required forms:
- After your child shortlists the colleges where he/she wants to take admission, you need to find out the forms of the shortlisted colleges, that you will need to fill.
- There have been cases, where the information received by the people from the college (over the telephone), was either outdated or wrong. So, you should rely only on the best of the sources, like- College’s financial aid office’s website.
- A student can only file one FAFSA per year. There is no need of filing separate FAFSA forms for separate colleges. There is a section on the FAFSA form, where you can list up to 10 colleges you want to apply to.
- Focus on avoiding silly mistakes while filling the form. The form is going to decide the fate of the financial aid. We have come across parents, who have filled the previous year forms. This happens because, the processing of next year’s FAFSA form overlaps for six months with the processing of the current academic year’s FAFSA form. Take care that the form you are filling is not outdated. Some school don’t rely entirely on the data provided by the FAFSA. So, they require some additional personal information, for which they have their own financial aid forms. These forms have to be taken care of, as the forms have to be directly sent to the individual colleges.
An example of such college is the University of Pennsylvania. The university asks its perspective students to file the Penn Financial Aid Supplement in addition to the FAFSA and the PROFILE from.