I’ve done the FAFSA, Now What? (and other complications)

Maybe you’ve completed your FAFSA, maybe you’ve already done the IRS Data Retrieval, and you are sitting back thinking “I am so ahead of this!” Life is great, right? Well, sort of. Let’s make sure you’ve remembered the other financial aid forms. (And for those of you who haven’t done your FAFSA, you aren’t too late — click here to review).

Kickin’ back? Not quite yet.

Remember that if your college requires the CSS Financial Aid Profile, you must complete this second application form in order to qualify for institutional financial aid. As I stated in an earlier blog post, the single largest source of grant-based financial aid is educational institutions (more than the Federal Government and more than State Governments), so you always want to make sure you complete whatever form(s) your college or university requests. More information on the CSS Financial Aid Profile can be found here.

Just in case any of you who are reading this blog are still in high school (or parents of a high school student), the next financial aid application you want to be sure to complete is your state’s scholarship or grant application form (if there is a separate one). We discussed this previously here.

The fourth form you need to be sure to complete is actually school-based. Each college or university may have its own financial aid or scholarship application form and you want to make sure you have completed that form. Here is where we discussed this last. Some colleges may have their own application form (online with another example here or here). Some have listings of scholarship opportunities available at the college, while others provide a bulletin board with links to outside scholarship programs. Check your college to make sure that you complete any requested additional form!

And finally, there are always more private scholarship programs and opportunities to consider. We’ve spoken about this process before too; read all about the best way to research and apply for outside scholarships here. The list of possible matches is long, but the rewards are great. We’ll talk more about private scholarships in a future post, but don’t forget to keep up to date with them!