FAFSA–not so scary after all!

Seniors across the country have been working so hard this fall – in new online and blended learning settings, making the best out of new adaptations to their extracurriculars, and especially on college applications. As your senior wraps up their application work, there is another phase of college planning fast approaching: Funding and Financial Aid!

We could talk for days on this topic, but a few SUPER important things to note are related to the documents each student and family must fill out in order to ensure full consideration for funding at the schools they’ve applied to.

First is the FAFSA, which is definitely the document with the most buzz surrounding it, and for good reason! The FAFSA is extremely important because it does ensure full need-based aid consideration, but it is also often the red tape universities want to see before they will even consider students for some merit-based aid. It is crucial to fill this document out and send it to every school your student applies to! Deadlines for this document are typically in January-March.
The second is the CSS profile. This document is a little trickier, because only certain schools require it, and some of those schools even require it in conjunction with the students early action application (think: November!) in order to consider full financial aid consideration. AND if a school requires the CSS turned in at the same time as the student’s application, they also will typically require the FAFSA at that same time, as well. For this reason, it is crucial that if your student is applying to CSS profile schools, you look into the specific financial aid deadlines at each school to make sure you aren’t left out in the cold when it comes to potential aid!
A few last tips:
– You will be filling out both of these documents for the 2021-2022 school year and you will use your 2019 tax information.
– Here are some helpful links to check out when getting started on the FAFSA and the CSS profile!