Update your FAFSA and CSS PROFILE applications—Revise your financial aid applications with data from your most recent year tax returns if this information was estimated on your initial FAFSA / CSS PROFILE.
Send tax transcript for verification —Certain colleges may require verification of your financial information. Follow up your financial aid applications by sending the requesting college copies of your or your parents’ tax transcripts.
Await College Notifications – If you applied under the regular application process, you should receive an admissions decision by March or April. Notifications of financial aid awards should arrive by the end of April.
Waitlisted? What are your Options? Being put on a waitlist is not a rejection. You should receive a decision by May. In the meantime, keep your options open in case you don’t get in. Check out schools that have late or rolling application deadlines.
Review and Assess Regular Decision Acceptances —Regular decision applicants typically receive an accept/reject/wait-list response in March or April.
Compare financial aid packages —Once you are accepted, colleges will offer a financial aid package consisting of grants along with suggested loans and work-study.
Work Study? —Many students consider work-study options offered by their college if they cannot fully cover the cost of attendance through grants and scholarships. You can indicate your interest in work-study on the FAFSA and by contacting your college’s financial aid office.
Loan? —Many students consider loans for college if they cannot fully cover the cost of attendance through grants, scholarships, and work-study. The best deals are often from subsidized federal loans, specifically Stafford loans (now often called Direct Loans) and Perkins loans.
Appeal Financial Aid? —If your family’s circumstance has changed, or if a college’s financial aid package does not meet your need, reach out to the financial aid office ASAP to appeal the offer.
Make your Choice and Submit your enrollment deposit—The final date to submit a deposit and lock in your place for regular decision applications is typically May 1. Remember – many schools will offer a waiver if the cost is too prohibitive.
Take AP Exams—AP Exams, which provide an opportunity to earn college credit, are offered each year in May.