Applying for Financial Aid
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) & PHEAA (Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency)The document linked here is an excellent resource regarding available aid and how to understand the language and process of applying.This process is an involved one...but a VERY IMPORTANT ONE. ALL students should apply for aid through the FAFSA process (see below). Colleges / Universities will not consider students for work study or some scholarship opportunities without having this on file. It is the STUDENT'S responsibility to understand and complete this process with parent/guardian help.Each college or university may have a different deadline for filing the FAFSA form. Students are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to have this filed by February 1st in order to meet almost all deadlines.Families do NOT have to have their taxes filed in order to complete the FAFSA. Simply estimate to the best you are able and then update information as needed after your taxes are filed. The numbers must match after all filing is complete.Common mistakes in completing the FAFSA:
After you submit, be sure to write down your DRN (data release number) in case you need to contact them later.Click on the PA Resident link at the end of the process in order to then complete the information for money from the state. This link will only be available the FIRST time you get to this screen.
- Using the wrong website. Be sure to go to www.fafsa.gov.
- Using the wrong year's form. Be sure to use the academic year in which the student will be STARTING college.
- Using the wrong social security number for student and / or parent. Be sure to double check what you enter. If you enter and save it incorrectly, you must start the entire process over - you may not correct it!!!
- Using the wrong birth dates. Be sure to read each space carefully to enter the student's and parent's birth dates in the correct places.
Using the wrong PIN numbers. Be sure to carefully enter these numbers - student and parent.
This form is required by some schools (students must check with the schools they are applying to to determine if this is required.)
This form can be found at http://www.collegeboard.com under students, then Pay for College. There is a $9 registration fee and a $16 fee for each school the report is sent to.
Financial Aid InformationThe year of the form indicates the year in which the money will be used to pay for post-secondary education. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is the form that must be completed as early as possible after Januray 1st of the year aid is needed for any student to receive aid for college, tech school, trade school, business school, or university programs. The application is available on line by going to: http://www.studentaid.ed.gov.See information on FREE FAFSA Help Sessions