Thanksgiving is a time to practice gratitude.
Here are some ways we can remain thankful during FAFSA (Free Application for Federal
Student Aid) and college application season.
1. Celebrate the fact that the FAFSA is a free resource for financial aid. The FAFSA serves as your
application for federal and some state financial aid for college. Whether you
receive grants, scholarships, student loans or work study, all of these will
help get you one step closer to your future goals.
2. Be grateful that you created your FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID) before starting your FAFSA application,
and kept it safe on your handy FSA
ID Worksheet! The FSA ID is a username and password that you and one of
your parents create to sign the FAFSA electronically. This short task can save you time, as
submitting and signing your FAFSA online will speed up the processing period
for your application. Save your FSA ID worksheet so when you complete the FAFSA
next year you won’t have to struggle to remember your ID; you’ll only have to
reference your FSA ID worksheet for the information.
3. Remember to show your educators how much you appreciate
them. Is there an administrator, teacher or counselor who’s been especially
supportive as you plan for college? It’s easy to get caught up in the essays,
application requirements and test scores, and educators can encourage us to
persevere and answer our endless questions. Educators are an essential resource
when it comes to choosing the school you want to attend.
4. Having trouble picking your top schools? The FAFSA allows you to apply for financial
aid at up to 10 different schools. Ask your teacher or counselor to help
you find the best-fit colleges, universities or technology centers. After you’ve
narrowed down your choices and determined which schools are a good match, take
the time to thank your teacher or counselor for everything they’ve done to help
make your education journey successful.
5. Finally, be proud of your own perseverance. Once you’ve followed
the tips in Finish
the FAFSA in Five Steps and submitted your application, you can be grateful
that it’s done! (Until next year, that is.)
Once you hit the ‘Submit’ button after completing your FAFSA
(Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you’ll receive a confirmation page.
The confirmation means your FAFSA has been received by the Federal Student Aid
(FSA) Processing Center and they’ll begin to review your application. A few
days after that you’ll be notified that your FAFSA results have been sent to
the colleges you entered on your application. You’ll also be able to review
your Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR lists the information you entered on
your FAFSA and allows you to determine if any changes should be made. Follow
the directions provided to retrieve your SAR and read the report carefully. The
first page will contain valuable information about the next steps you should
If you find any errors on your SAR, go to FAFSA.gov, access
your online FAFSA application and make the necessary corrections. If you’re
changing one of your (student)answers, click ‘I am the student’ once
you’ve logged in and enter your FSA ID and Save Key. If your parent(s) are
updating one of their answers, they should click ‘I am a parent.’ They will log
in using your personal identifying information along with the same Save Key.
Don’t let anyone else log in with your FSA ID!
Please note: If
any changes need to be made to the income figures provided on the FAFSA by you
or your parent(s), it’s possible that your college financial aid office may have
to make the changes for you. Students and parents who utilize the IRS DRT
(Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool) can download their income
figures from the IRS directly into their FAFSA, which can save you time and
additional paperwork. To keep your information secure, however, once figures
are downloaded you are unable to see them. Only your financial aid office will
be able to view the results, and only they can make any necessary corrections. If
changes do need to be made, you must provide your aid officer with the Data
Release Number (DRN) which appears at the top of the SAR. Remember, never give
your FSA ID to anyone in the financial aid office.
The colleges you included on your FAFSA will receive the
results of your application from FSA directly. They will then begin working on
a financial aid ‘package’ for you by determining your eligibility for funds
from various federal, state and institutional resources. A financial aid offer
will be sent to you through the mail or via email. You’ll be given a deadline
to respond to the offer, letting the school know if you’ll accept or decline a part
or all of the aid they’ve awarded. Remember, you don’t have to accept
You may not receive an offer from every school listed on
your FAFSA. Some universities may wait to provide a financial aid offer until
you’ve been admitted to their school. If you don’t receive a response from one
of your schools, contact their financial aid office to ensure they’ve received
your FAFSA results.
From that point on, follow the directions given to you by
the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend. They’ll be your best
resource for any questions you may have about the financial aid process.
The busiest time of the year is just around the corner.
Before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begins, take time to submit
your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The 2020-2021 FAFSA
opened on October 1, which means many students have already had the chance to
successfully submit their application. Now is the time to successfully submit
yours! This application allows the financial aid office at your chosen college
to determine your eligibility to receive many types of financial aid. While
some aid does not run out, other types are awarded on a first-come, first-served
basis. If you submit your FAFSA too late, you may miss out on important
funding. There are a few other significant reasons to submit your FAFSA now:
- More and more colleges and universities are
setting early enrollment and institutional scholarship deadlines in November
and December. During the application process, they’ll want to know if you’ve
submitted your FAFSA.
- It’s not uncommon
for a scholarship committee to ask for a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR),
which you receive after you submit the FAFSA. Completing your FAFSA early
ensures that you won’t miss important deadlines.
- Submit the FAFSA now so you have one less
thing on your to-do list for college next fall. It’s better to complete the
FAFSA now so you can focus on other college planning tasks in the spring.
- Since you’ll need to submit the FAFSA
each year you’re in college, completing your application now allows you to
become familiar with the FAFSA form for next year. If you’re in high school,
take this time to ask questions about the application process with your parents
and school counselor so that you’ll know what to expect next fall.
Don’t wait any longer! Complete your FAFSA as
soon as possible.
It’s National Scholarship Month! That means we’re raising
awareness about the numerous scholarship dollars that are available to help you
cover college expenses. For the 2016-2017 school year, the National Scholarship Providers
Association awarded over $2 billion in scholarship funds to deserving
students. That’s just one organization! There are many other companies that
offer scholarships to students preparing for college. To help you put your best
foot forward, here are a few tips to help you submit excellent scholarship
- Follow directions. It’s
important to read all scholarship instructions carefully before starting the
application. If there is a word count to abide by, be sure to meet the
requirements. Also, submit all necessary documents. Ask for letters of
recommendation, copies of your transcript and other documentation weeks before
the scholarship deadline.
- Be creative.
Think outside the box on
scholarship questions. Be creative and original when writing your essay
responses. If you’re asked why you deserve the scholarship, explain why it’s
important for you to go to college. Talk about your academic and career goals,
as well as the challenges you’ve overcome to reach those goals. Also, tell a
story only you can tell. Discuss your involvement with a school organization or
a part-time job and describe the skills you’ve gained from those opportunities.
Remember that with every experience you’ve encountered, you’ve learned
something. Use those learned lessons to fuel your essay responses.
your work. Completing a scholarship application can feel very rewarding;
however, it’s only the first step. Proofreading is the next crucial stage in
this process. Read your scholarship essay aloud to see if you need to make any
adjustments. Also, ask a non-relative, such as a teacher or counselor, to read
your essay – and be open to the constructive criticism they give you.
- Find options
that reflect your interests. Applying for scholarships can seem
like a lot of work. Yet, if you find scholarships that are interesting to you,
the application process can be enjoyable. Search for opportunities that align
with your passions. Then writing essays and creating scholarship videos will be
fun and exciting, instead of time consuming and tedious.
- Never give up! Don’t get
discouraged when you don’t receive a scholarship award; just keep applying.
Your persistence will win out in the end. Keep searching for unique
scholarships. Ask local businesses about scholarship opportunities, as well as
your current education institution. The goal of scholarships is to assist you
with covering the costs of college. The more scholarships you apply for, the
more likely you are to gain that extra assistance. To learn more about
scholarships or to search for interesting opportunities, check out our Scholarship
Success Guide or go to UCanGo2.org and OKcollegestart.org.