The Financial Aid Calendar


The Financial Aid Calendar 

January

  • Submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. Be sure to list the schools you are considering (up to six) on the application. Estimate the required tax information if you have not yet filed. And don’t forget to check out our Tips on Completing the FAFSA.
  • Submit state financial aid applications, if required. Check with your school Financial Aid Office for deadlines.
  • Use the Scholarship Search Engine to find free aid opportunities.
  • Approximately two weeks after submitting your FAFSA, you should receive notice that the application was received.

February

  • Approximately two weeks after submitting your FAFSA, you should receive notice that the application was received.
  • If you submitted your FAFSA early in January, you might receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) in February—it usually takes four to eight weeks.
  • Submit a state financial aid application, if required.
  • Check with the schools to which you’ve applied and complete any financial forms they require.

March

  • If you submitted your FAFSA early in January or early February, you might receive your Student Aid Report in March—it usually takes four to eight weeks. If you haven’t received your Student Aid Report (SAR) yet (assuming it been at least four weeks since you submitted it), contact the federal processor at 1-319-337-5665.
  • Review your SAR carefully; make any necessary corrections directly on Part 2 of the SAR and return it to the address provided, or submit changes to the FAFSA online via FAFSA Corrections on the Web.

April

  • College acceptance letters usually arrive before May 1.
  • Look for an Award Letter from each of the schools to which you’ve been accepted. This letter lists the types and amounts of financial aid you’ll receive for the upcoming academic year.

May

  • Choose the school you wish to attend and let them know. Notify the schools you didn’t select so they can award your financial aid package to other eligible students.
  • Complete student loan applications, including Federal Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans for Parents. If you still need money for college, apply online for a Private Loan.
  • If you haven’t already done so, you can submit your FAFSA online.

June

  • If you haven’t already done so, submit your FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
  • Complete student loan applications, including Federal Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans for Parents. If you still need money for college, apply online for a Private Loan.

July

  • Notify your school about any changes in your financial situation, including any outside scholarships or grants you’ve received.
  • It still not too late to complete student loan applications, including Federal Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans for Parents. If you still need money for college, apply online for a Private Loan.
  • High school seniors—now is the time to request brochures and information from the schools you’re interested in attending.

August

  • If you’ve been awarded work-study, contact your school Financial Aid Office to complete any school-required paperwork and review current openings.
  • Apply for scholarships using the Scholarship Search Engine.
  • High School Seniors - Prepare for and take entrance exams such as the ACT and SAT. Register online for fall SATs.
  • High School Seniors - Attend college open houses and schedule admissions interviews at the schools you’re interested in attending. It a good idea to meet the school financial aid office, too, to get the school-specific paperwork and information you’ll need to apply for financial aid.

September

  • High School Seniors - Decide which teachers, friends, coaches, employers and mentors you’ll ask to write your letters of recommendation for you.

October

  • Continue to look for scholarships and grants.
  • High School Seniors — Apply for early decision, if applicable.

November

  • Go over the FAFSA form and put together the paperwork you’ll need. For help, see Tips on Completing the FAFSA.
  • High School Seniors - Collect letters of recommendation in preparation for submitting college admissions applications.

December

  • Happy Holidays! Warm up by filling out the FAFSA Pre-Application Worksheet in anticipation of a January submission.
  • High School Seniors — Now is the time to submit applications for admission to the colleges of your choice.

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