So you’ve applied to college and filed your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), right? If not, there’s still time but don’t wait too long or you’ll be scrambling at the last minute trying to get it all done.
Read follow-up emails.
After you’ve sent your application to the colleges/universities you want to go to, you probably won’t hear from them right away. However, they might contact you and request additional information, such as updated transcripts, ACT scores, proof of residency, etc. Make sure you have access to the email address you listed on your college application, since that’s how the college might contact you. They might also contact you through your student portal, so be sure to write down your login info. Remember, don’t use your high school assigned email address because you won’t have access to that once you graduate!
Many colleges have scholarships just for their students and new students, so make sure to search for them. Some scholarships are listed on the colleges’ financial aid website, and some are listed on the specific college department page.
- Once you find scholarships, apply for them. You can also search for scholarships here and be sure to use Google to find scholarships. Use this scholarship toolkit to get started too.
- Remember, NEVER EVER pay to apply for scholarships. If you see that it’s most likely a scam.
This video will help you get started searching and applying for scholarships…
Follow up on your FAFSA.
If you’ve already filed your FAFSA, congratulations! If not, no worries, but get on it. After you’ve filed your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), the colleges you listed on your FAFSA will receive your information in about 4-6 weeks, and they might also contact you via the email address you listed on your FAFSA to get additional information, so again, make sure you’ll have access your email account.
- You might need to log back in to your FAFSA to make any additional updates or changes to your FAFSA. You’ll get an email letting you know if you’ll need to do this.
- Once the colleges have everything they need from you, they’ll put together a financial aid award letter which tells you what types of financial aid they can offer you such as grants, work-study, federal student loans (yes, that is considered financial aid), and some scholarships.
- Keep in mind that some colleges might offer you more financial aid than others, so it’s important to compare award letters from each college you applied to.
This video below will give you more specific details on what to do after you’ve filed your FAFSA…
Since you’ve applied to college and filed your FAFSA, you’ve completed some big steps, but you’re not finished! Maintain contact with the colleges you applied to and make sure to ask them LOTS of questions if you have them. Don’t wait for the college to contact you. If you’ve not heard from them in a while, call or email them–or even better, visit the college and schedule an appointment with a financial aid advisor and academic advisor to make sure they–and you have everything ready to go.