• So, you are a senior. What should you be doing to find financial aid?

    Financial Aid

    Two financial aid documents must be completed:

         1. FAFSA-Opens Oct 1. Awarded on a first come, first serve basis.

         2. Residency Determination Services-open now. Must be completed to receive in-state tuition

         This document compares the two applications

    The FAFSA is the FREE financial aid application to receive grants and loans. It can be completed after October 1st. Each college is given a certian amount of grants(free money) to distribute. Once the money is gone, all they can offer are loans. Apply as early as possible after October 1 to increase your chances of receiving grants. You do NOT have to have your taxes completed for this year in order to submit the FAFSA. All families should apply, regardless of income..  Click here to go to the FAFSA website. Here is a list of tips for parents from CollegeBoard and here is a video explaining how to do the FAFSA

    Help with FAFSA

    Get help with the FAFSA

    Click here for 7 things you need BEFORE the FAFSA

    Click here for a link to helpful FAFSA resources

    Click here for the FAFSA in Spanish

    Click here for an explanation of the different types of loans

    Click here for why you should do the FAFSA. 

    More helpful links:

    1) What Happens After the FAFSA is Filed? Link: https://youtu.be/3QOyZ1pAI30

    2) North Carolina State Grants: Links: https://youtu.be/3QOyZ1pAI30%20%0d2 https://youtu.be/xXlMlpam21c 

    3) Making Changes on the FAFSA; When to contact the financial aid office: Link: https://youtu.be/u53SbiHMkuo

    4) What to do when there is a change/loss of income: Link: https://youtu.be/6ZjJ7-sVDvw

    5) Verification: What to do if my FAFSA is chosen:  Link: https://youtu.be/1gNpa-Rs4HM

    6) Student Aid Report – How to Use it:  Link: https://youtu.be/Op5nKUVYTPI

    You are allowed to contact the financial aid office at a university to negotiate the financial aid package. If you feel like you did not receive enough money, it is recommended that you do the following.

    1. Understand the award letter. Note how much unmet need you have left

    2. Find out whether the college has a protocol in place to negotiate. Call or look at their website

    3. Be professional when asking for them to negotiate whether it is on the phone or in a letter. If the school is your top choice and the only thing standing in your way is the financial aid package, kindly tell them that. Send them a copy of your highest offer letter to see if the school will match it. If you have received any additional awards, high grades/test scores, include this info. 

    4. Make a compelling case. if a parent has lost a job since you completed the FAFSA, explain this. Other changes in health, family expenses, divorce, etc. should all be communicated.

    Guideline for filling out the FAFSA :

    1. Both parent and student need to apply for a FSA ID (that's two different logins). Record the FSA ID that you and your parents choose and use. If you or your parents have filled out the FAFSA in a previous year, they will need to use that same FSA ID. Put it in a safe place because this is the way you/your parents sign this form every year.

    4. If you are completing your taxes yourself, fill out the FAFSA on paper first.

    5. Begin to complete the FAFSA online. Use the PDF FAFSA to help you.. You will need the FSA ID that you obtained in step one. You will not need to wait for a confirmation email. It will be what you selected.

    6. COMPLETE THE FAFSA BEGINNING October 1st of this year. You will use Prior-Prior year (taxes from 2020). The Federal/State government and the colleges are going to use your FILE date to award the money. So the SOONER the BETTER! If you wait until the NC State Aid deadline of March 1st, there won't be any money left.

    7. Applying is easier with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool! Students and parents who have filed their 2020 federal tax return may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to easily, accurately and securely transfer their tax information into the FAFSA form.

    8. You can send your EFC to 10 colleges/universities, so make sure you choose ANY place you have even thought about.

    Additional websites with helpful information

     General FAFSA help

    Dependency Status

    Parent Information

    12th Grade Checklist for students and parents

    Making Corrections/Updates to my FAFSA

    How Aid is Calculated

    College List on forms