12 Steps in Getting Financial Aid:

The Fall before you will enter school:

1. Select schools that will fulfill your educational and occupational goals

2. Write or call the admissions office at each school you are interested in. Ask about financial aid possibilities and application procedures.

3. Obtain the correct financial aid applications you will need. Forms are available from your high school counselor or from a college financial aid office.

4. Estimate the cost of attending each of the schools you have chosen.

5. Ask your high school counseling office if they sponsor a free financial aid night. Students and parents can learn about financial aid sources and procedures at these workshops.

6. Begin compiling the family financial information needed to fill out your financial aid applications: last year’s tax return, figures on non-taxable income, and information on assets.

Soon after January 1:

7. Send your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in for processing. (Your application will not be accepted before January 1, so do not send it before this date.)

In the Spring:

8. Some schools may request additional information from you such as copies of federal tax returns. Learn what each school requires and provide the information by the deadlines.

9. The schools you choose will notify you as to whether you qualify for financial aid. They also will explain how much grant, loan, or work-study money they can offer you.

10. Tell each school your plans in writing – whether you accept their financial aid packages or not.

Those who choose to attend the Summer term:

11. Aid awarded for the academic year must be used during that period. Aid may, however, be available during the summer term. Ask your aid officer well in advance of summer enrollment if summer aid is available at your school. Some schools may have a separate summer application process, so be sure to check with the financial aid office.

Each January, if you are planning to be in school the next year:

12. Apply for financial aid again. You MUST reapply each year.

NOTE: Students entering school during other times also need to complete the Financial Aid Need Analysis Form as soon as possible after January 1 of the year they are entering school.

Source: Delaware Occupational Information Coordinating Committee, Delaware Career Compass, 1998, p. 43.

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