Steps to the Financial Aid Process
1. Get an early estimate of your federal student aid eligibility with the FAFSA4caster at fafsa.ed.gov.
2. Set up your personal Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) to access, complete and submit the FAFSA at fsaid.ed.gov.
3. Complete your FAFSA as early as October 1 for the next school year using your prior-prior year tax return.
4. Expect to get a Student Aid Report (SAR) within three weeks of submitting your FAFSA.
5. Verify your SAR is correct and complete. It provides a summary of how you answered the FAFSA and shows your eligible aid.
6. Complete your FAFSA early and you may secure early funding and get a better idea of your total college costs.
Types of Financial Aid Process
Grants provide needs-based aid to students. the money doesn't have to be repaid (unless you withdraw from school before finishing an enrollment period.)
State aid is primarily available to students who attend college in their state.
Institutional aid is provided by public and private colleges to help their students pay for tuition and fees.
Federal work-study programs are offered by colleges to help students earn money working part-time.
Federal Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) for students attending college at least half-time. Loans must be repaid.