As the cost of a college education continues to escalate, more and more families are looking to financial aid to pay the tuition. Whereas the upper-middle class might once have ignored financial aid altogether, nowadays financial aid is being relied on by nearly everyone to varying degrees.
In a 2011 survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 73 percent of students were receiving financial aid during the 2010-2011 school year. Simply put, without financial aid, many of the nation’s students would not be able to afford a college education.
While the high cost of a college education might not come as a surprise to most people, to some the financial aid process might be unchartered territory. Financial Aid Officer, a financial aid help and advice service, offers the following financial aid calendar to those who might be new to the process or simply need a refresher.
Begin compiling financial records, such as earnings statements, bank statements, reports of interest earned, etc. If possible, file your federal tax return as well. While this isn’t a requirement, filling out a financial aid application is much easier if you’ve already filed a federal income tax return.
Financial aid applications should be completed and mailed in February. Even if a student hasn’t chosen a school yet or even narrowed their list, simply list all schools on the financial application to which applications were sent. When filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a report will automatically be generated for all schools listed on the application. Once the FAFSA has been filed, a “Student Aid Report” (SAR) will be sent out confirming the data submitted on
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