What you Need to Know About Financial Aid

If you are looking to receive financial aid, now is the time to start getting your finances in order. The US government loans money to every student who needs it. Two of the most important and most common ways of getting access to government money are the FAFSA and the CSS/Profile.

To receive FAFSA aid, you need to fill out and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (http://www.fafsa.gov). This federal application for financial aid is also used to apply for aid from other sources, such as your state or school.

The CSS/Financial Aid Profile, CSS/Profile, or College Scholarship Service Profile is also an application that allows students to apply for financial aid. It is distributed by the College Board and is much more detailed than the FAFSA.

Most schools require BOTH the FAFSA and the CSS/Profile in order to eligible to receive financial aid.

The FAFSA determines Federal funding and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is set by the government. The FAFSA does not take into account home equity, medical expenses or change in employment.

The CSS/Profile helps determine institutional money, in many cases. The EFC calculation may vary by institution, and can take into account home equity, deductions for medical expenses and provisions for special circumstances.

International College Counselors recommends that ALL students who feel they need aid fill the FAFSA out regardless of their household income.

With both of these forms, it is important to fill them out as early as possible.
The CSS/Profile has varying deadlines depending on the school and becomes available in the fall. If you are applying early admissions or early decision, the CSS/ Profile is often due by November 15. The CSS/Profile can be found at the College Board website: https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/prf/index.jsp.

The FAFSA always becomes available January 1 and should be submitted as soon as data is ready. The FAFSA application can be found at: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

If you have specific questions, much like with the CSS/ Profile, the folks at FAFSA are EXTREMELY helpful. Please do not hesitate to call the contact numbers.
FAFSA contact info. CSS/ Profile contact info.

A family should fill out BOTH of these forms each year if you desire aid for college. Be sure to check your specific school’s website for further forms or information. Only rarely are there additional forms, but we never know.

In our next email we will discuss grants, general and school scholarships, and other ways to maximize your finances and minimize your college costs.

For more information on financial aid, please contact International College Counselors to learn more. We would be happy to send you a personalized list of your particular financial aid “to – dos”.

Also, when beginning your FAFSA, please refer to the “Common Errors When Filing for Financial Aid” page in your binder. If you are missing it, please let us know.