Applying for Financial Aid

Five Important Steps to Follow

Don't let expense stand in the way of a college education.

Follow these five important steps:

  • Develop a financial aid calendar
  • Apply for financial aid when applying for admission
  • Submit required financial aid forms
  • Apply for scholarships and grants
  • Keep track of progress

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One hurdle most students inevitably face when considering education beyond high school is how to pay for college.

  • Develop a financial aid calendar—Deadlines vary, so if you put together a calendar of when applications are due and stick to it, you’ll be in a good position to apply for financial help. 
  • Apply for financial aid when applying for admission—Many colleges require both an application for admission and for financial aid before your financial aid eligibility can be determined. 
  • Submit required financial aid forms—File all forms for the colleges you’re considering, including the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Go to to fill out the form or request a paper version. 
  • Apply for scholarships and grants—Ask your counselor about state scholarships, grants, and loan programs. Also look for institutional, community, foundation, and corporation program funds. 
  • Keep track of progress—Monitor the information you receive from colleges regarding fees and payment schedules, and include this information in your college planning.

Navigating the Financial Aid Process