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Pursuing Financial Aid

 

 A critical issue for almost all families is financing a college education.  The emphasis on the FAFSA is appropriate for both first-generation students and those returning to their college.  For students assigned to us, we issue a letter that is in italics below and then work diligently to educate the family and student involved. We avoid duplicating the presentation at fafsa.gov and urge all families to attend a workshop.

 

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) available on the web at fafsa.gov.  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 (fafsa.gov) by late October and aim to submit your FAFSA by late December of your senior year.  (The Department of Education recently related that they are accepting updates as late as June this year, but yours should be completed as soon as possible.) 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. (There will be some delay in receiving the SAR this year.) 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 applying@dupontyouth.org.  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 applying@dupontyouth.org.  All students should attend a FAFSA workshop either at their high school or in their community.  

AT A GLANCE
The process for receiving financial aid involves these steps:

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
August/September
     Senior Year
October/December
     Senior Year
         January
     Senior Year
    March/April
     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.

      May/June
     Senior Year

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

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