Financial Aid Information

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is money that can help you pay for college. Some aid needs to be paid back or earned, and some aid is a gift.

When can you apply for Financial Aid?

You can and should apply as early as October 1 through

You should request a FSA ID in order to sign the FAFSA form. You can apply for a FSA ID at You should do this before October 1 so that you have it ready to complete your FAFSA. You no longer have to wait until January 1 to file your FAFSA.

There are four main sources of financial aid:

● Federal government (the largest source)

● State governments

● Colleges and universities

● Private organizations

You have to apply to qualify for financial aid.

If you don’t fill out financial aid forms, you won’t get any aid. Even if you think you may not qualify, you should still submit the forms.

Types of Aid:

● Grants and scholarships: money you don’t have to pay back

● Work-study jobs: paid, part-time work that’s generally on campus

● Loans: money you need to pay back, usually after you graduate

Completing the FAFSA is convenient and FREE.

Complete the form online at You can even import your family’s tax information directly from the IRS website.



The CSS PROFILE short for the College Scholarship Service Profile, is an application distributed by the College Board in the United States allowing college students to apply for financial aid. It is primarily designed to give private member institutions of the College Board a closer look into the finances of a student and family. Eac CSS Profile costs a fee, varying from year to year.

Generally, colleges with early acceptance programs (student receives admission decision before the New Year) use the CSS PROFILE to make preliminary financial aid decisions because the FAFSA is not available until after January 1. Then after student completes the FAFSA (the official financial aid application) colleges may then make adjustments to their financial aid awards if necessary. There are over 400 colleges that require applicants to complete the CSS Profile.

Please follow this link for more information on the profile as well as a list of schools that require it and instructions for completing the CSS Profile. The CSS Profile can be completed ASAP.­financial­aid­profile

Merit Based vs. Need Based Aid:

Merit includes a variety of categories: academic, artistic, athletic, and the list goes on.

Scholarships are the most common type of merit–based aid (though some do have a

need­based component). Assuming need is not a condition, a student with extensive assets and income is just as entitled to a merit­based award as a student with limited assets and income.

Federal student aid is need–based. That means it doesn't discriminate by any factor apart from need. Eligibility is based solely on the assets and income of the prospective student and his or her family. Factors such as test scores or athletic ability have no bearing on any aid designated need–based.

HELPFUL RESOURCES:­is­a­net­price­calculator­for­college­for­college/financial­aid­101/how­to­complete­the­css­financial­aid­profile

Tools to help you understand the cost of college:

Utilize the NET PRICE CALCULATOR.  The net price calculator is a free online tool located on each college's website that gives you a personalized estimate of net price.

  • A college’s net price calculator asks you questions about your family’s finances and may also ask you questions about your GPA, test scores, activities and other things that may qualify you for financial aid. It uses your answers to figure out how much money in grants and scholarships the college is likely to award you. It then subtracts that number from the full cost of attendance to estimate how much the college might really cost you.
  • Why are Net Price Calculators Important: By providing personalized estimates, net price calculators offer a more informed way of deciding which colleges you can afford. Knowing your net price gives you the best idea of what you’ll pay for a particular college

Use the FAFSA4Caster to get a free early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid which can give you better insight in looking for colleges. This can be found on