College Plan Timeline:
Make sure you ask your college’s financial aid office if you have ANY questions about financial aid. Misunderstandings can cost you valuable dollars in the long run.
Follow these steps to verify that your financial aid is in order before you set foot on campus.
Congratulations! You know exactly where you’ll be learning (among other things) next fall. With that huge decision out of the way, now it’s time to focus on the details that make college doable. Details like your college financial aid status.
Assuming you aren’t independently wealthy, you’ll probably need some kind of financial aid. Whether it’s student loans, federal grants, local scholarships, or work study programs (What is Work Study?), it’s important to get your financial aid in order.
Your post-decision financial aid checklist
The following is a list of a few things you’ll want to check on before you put your financial aid to rest:
- Check to ensure you received a FAFSA acknowledgement. If not, call or email FAFSA or get your counselor to help you.
- If you applied for a federal Pell Grant, you should have received a Student Aid Report. Review this statement, make a copy, and send it off to your chosen college.
- Review all of the terms and stipulations of your financial aid with your parents. Make sure you know exactly what will be asked of you in terms of grades, monetary contributions, and course load expectations.
- If your financial situation has drastically changed in the past few months, file a financial aid appeal to see if you can get more money. Contact your financial aid office immediately and ask if they have specific appeal procedures. Most schools will ask you to write a formal letter explaining your circumstances.
- Notify your financial aid department of any outside scholarships or grants you’ve accepted since your initial application.
Planning ahead or a little behind?
There's a section for you!
Related Tools and Checklists
People Who Read This Article Also Read:
Award Letter Basics
Questions to Ask Schools' Financial Aid Offices
See All College Financial Aid: The Basics of Student Aid and FAFSA Articles