The student should file the FAFSA and the GPA Verification form as early as possible.
Some aid, such as FSEOG, Perkins, and Institutional Aid, may be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
If your tax forms will not be completed in January, apply using estimated information, rather than waiting for the tax forms.
Receive Aid Offer (April-May)
The schools that receive your aid application will send you an Offer of Aid.
Some schools will wait until you have applied for admission and/or until you have been accepted or until you have submitted additional paperwork before processing your application.
The initial offer is only as accurate as the information provided by the student on the FAFSA and other forms.
The school’s aid offer could change as the school receives more accurate information.
Submit Paperwork (April-May)
Each school will let you know what paperwork is needed to process your aid.
This may include:
The parents’ most recent tax form and W2s
The student’s most recent tax form and W2s
A Stafford Loan application
Financial aid transcripts from any prior colleges attended by the student.
The sooner you submit the needed items to the school, the sooner the school will be able to confirm and process your aid.
Coordination and Verification (Summer)
Once the school has received all of your paperwork, they will compare the new information (from your tax forms, Student Aid Report, etc.) to your original application, update the information and adjust your aid offer. This process is the verification process.
As the school learns about other aid you will receive – Cal Grant, institutional scholarships, private scholarships, etc. – they may need to adjust your aid offer to prevent you from receiving more aid than you are eligible to receive. The process is called coordination.
Coordination and verification may cause significant changes in your award offer. Therefore, it is important that the school receive correct information as soon as possible. If there are any changes, they will notify you as early as possible.
If the student will be receiving a loan, the school will require the student to attend some kind of loan counseling session. This may be a large group seminar, a small group presentation, a one-on-one interview, or in the form of a written questionnaire.
The loan counseling will take place after school begins.
The student may also need to sign the loans. Federal Stafford Loan checks (for those not receiving funds by EFT), and Perkins Loan promissory notes will need to be signed by the student.
P.L.U.S. loan checks are usually mailed to the parent to endorse.
Renew Aid (January-February)
All need-based financial aid, federal, state, and institutional aid is awarded on a yearly basis.
Each year, the student must reapply for the following year.