This September has been an exceptional back-to-school season. Struggling with enacting new sanitary protocols, schools are slowly easing into new routines, with varying levels of success. This can be a particularly challenging time for high school seniors. And for those high school seniors that are completing their last year of high school in such conditions, the college application season is especially important. We want to make sure that seniors don’t miss a beat. For many applying to colleges this year, finances are even more of an important question than usual. That’s why it’s essential to be on top of Financial Aid applications. With only a few weeks before the 2021-2022 FAFSA and CSS Profile become accessible, we thought it would be helpful to provide families with a few quick tips on the process.
Be sure to apply for the right year.
The FAFSA and CSS Profile will be released October 1st for the 2021-2022 academic year. That means that anyone trying to access the forms earlier will be applying for the wrong year.
It’s a good idea to get students involved.
Parents often take on the role of completing the FAFSA for their student, but it’s important to let students know what is involved in the paperwork, so they get a better idea of the cost of college. Students can also create their own “Federal Student Aid” ID, which helps streamline the process, and then parents can create their own in order to access the files.
Make sure to have your 2019 tax returns accessible.
You will need these documents handy if they haven’t already been sent in.
Some schools also require the CSS Profile.
The list of participating schools can be found here.
Pay attention to deadlines for Early Decision or Early Action.
In these circumstances, since the forms are submitted to all colleges at once, you need to submit the forms before the earliest financial aid deadline, which could be November 1st. The student should be responsible for these deadlines.
Applying for financial aid can seem to be a daunting task for families, especially given the current climate. However, it is crucial to be on top of it from the beginning to save on stress later on.
Having an extra hand with the college paperwork can make a huge difference. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation today!
Neal Schwartz, Owner
College Planning of Westchester
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