By Wendy David-Gaines
Colleges determine which financial aid applications they require to calculate financial aid awards. There are billions of dollars in financial aid available for college from federal and state governments, college institutional funds, and outside scholarships. Awards are based on applications and colleges determine which forms they require.
Each college has its own set of requirements so be sure to check with the financial aid offices of the schools you’re applying to in order to keep track of what applications you need. But don’t forget about applying for additional financial aid from your state government or outside scholarships!
Here are 10 financial aid applications you may have to complete:
1. FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) – a federal financial aid application form required by all colleges for federal financial aid including grants, loans, and work/study. In addition, some colleges use the FAFSA to award money from its own endowment funds and others require additional forms.
2. State Visit your state’s department of education site for information on state-sponsored financial aid programs for state residents.
3. Institutional – contact colleges on your list for additional institutional forms that the school may require before awarding money from its own endowment funds for financial aid.
4. CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® is an additional form required by a few hundred colleges before they award money from their own endowment funds. Check with the colleges you’re applying to before filling one out to see if it’s necessary.
5. CSS Business/Farm Supplement may need to be completed for the CSS Profile if your family owns a business or farm.
6. CSS NonCustodial Profile is an additional form for the CSS Profile that divorced/separated families may need to complete.
7. Outside Scholarships sponsored by businesses, employers, individuals, high schools, fraternal organizations and other private groups have their own application forms to determine award winners.
8. College Scholarships from a schools’ special endowment funds may be awarded in addition to financial aid programs. Some colleges use their admission application for their scholarship programs and others require additional forms.
9. Verification Worksheet is to be completed if a student’s FAFSA was selected for review by the college.
10. Appeal forms – After you get your financial award letter from the school you may realize that the award package falls short of your financial need. Some colleges will have financial aid appeal forms for students seeking a reconsideration of their financial aid awards.
Wendy David-Gaines, author of Parents of College Students Survival Stories, is known as POCSmom. She writes and lectures about the college process from forming a college list to attending college graduation. Wendy is also a College Insights expert on College Expert Panel. For more about POCSmom Wendy go towww.pocsmom.com for links to her blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.