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Pursuing Financial Aid


 It's important for you to understand some truths.   First, college is not affordable for almost all students without financial aid.   Secondly, the actual cost for you, or for you and your family, is determined by formula when you submit a document called the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  The application is indeed free to submit, but the aid that it can grant you has a long-lasting impact.   Finally, you need a workshop in personal finance to understand financial aid, loans, scholarships, work-study, grants, and the requirements of each.

Focus on the FAFSA.  Create an account on the FAFSA website by late October and aim to submit your FAFSA by late December of your senior year.  Incredibly within 3 to 5 days, you will receive a SAR (Student Aid Report) indicating your level of financial aid that should be recognized by all the colleges to which you apply.  Those schools which accept you will follow the acceptance with a financial aid offer in which they split the aid into scholarships, loans, and work-study.  Now you will need a mentor, advisor, or advocate to help you sort through the costs of sustaining your life as you attend college.

The FAFSA document is only for US citizens or an eligible noncitizen. If you are undocumented or a Dream Act student, you will need another document.  Email  Unaccompanied youth do not need to report their parents' financial and other information on the FAFSA.  But unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness need special determinations and documents to receive financial aid.  Email  All students should attend a FAFSA workshop either at their high school or in their community.  

The process for receiving financial aid:

Independent Student Status

FAFSA Worshop

Federal Student            Aid Report

College Award                     Letter

Using Grants for          College Costs

Using Loans for            College Costs

This is the timetable you will use to gain funding for your college costs
     Senior Year
     Senior Year
     Senior Year
     Senior Year
  1. Attend a FAFSA Workshop

  2. Create a sample FAFSA

  1. Collect necessary documnents

  2. File completed FAFSA by Dec 31.

  3. Complete all college applications for special status.

  1. Use the SAR to work with special action acceptances for financial aid rewards.

  2. Complete all regular decision college applications.

Use the SAR ​ to work with regular  decision acceptances for financial aid rewards.

     Senior Year

The final day to submit the FAFSA for the following school year is June 30.​

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