How Long Does Financial Aid Process Take

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FAFSA Application 101: The Financial Aid Process October 2, 2017 in Identifying Savings and Spending

How Long Does Financial Aid Process Take

How Long Does Financial Aid Process Take

Shannon Vasconcelos says there’s one thing she wants you to avoid before you sit down at the kitchen table to fill out the FAFSA application.

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As director of college finance at College Coach and financial aid officer at Boston University and Tufts University, Vasconcelos has helped thousands of families manage — and reduce — the inevitable “terror” that comes with college applications and financing. .

“Applying for financial aid can be difficult,” says Vasconcelos. But if you know what to expect — what your options are, what you need to do, and when you want to do it — you can go through the process without worry.

“The more prepared the family is, the riskier the process,” says Vasconcelos. “My favorite part of my job is educating families about the college financial process — what steps they should take and what colleges are doing behind the scenes — to eliminate the fear of the unknown.”

It all starts with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, administered by the US Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA). The good news is that it’s free to apply, and well worth the few hours you spend gathering your paperwork: the FSA disburses nearly $150 billion in student financial aid each year.

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With FAFSA applications opening on October 1, we sat down with Vasconcelos to share his 16 years of experience with financial aid.

A: Some colleges operate on a first-come, first-served basis for some of their grants, and these colleges can be very generous with financial aid even before the deadline. That’s why I recommend that most students try to complete their financial aid applications by the end of October.

Answer: Due to a security breach during last year’s retention period, filers’ income information obtained through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) will be withheld from the filer. Not being able to see the income information you report can be frustrating for applicants, but using the IRS DRT is the easiest and most accurate way to complete your application. Entering your own information leaves room for error and makes your application less likely to be selected for verification, meaning your application will be held until you submit your income information.

How Long Does Financial Aid Process Take

A: Student’s or parent’s FSA ID, list of schools you are applying to, your Social Security number, your Alien Registration number (if applicable), your driver’s license number, copies of tax returns and W- 2. for student and parent, and details of bank or investment accounts.

Financial Aid Process

A: The family’s home equity, their retirement accounts and any family-owned small businesses. For students whose parents are divorced, separated, or single, the FAFSA only asks for financial information from the stepfamily, with whom the student usually lives. The details of the student’s non-custodial parent are not considered by many colleges.

A: While the FAFSA is the only requirement for financial aid applications at most colleges, there are some colleges that have additional requirements. Most private colleges require an additional form called the CSS Profile. Others ask for copies of tax returns or other financial documents. Students are not necessarily “done” when they click Submit on the FAFSA. Be sure to check the college websites for all requirements, and stay tuned for additional questions from college support offices.

This blog post lists my top 10 FAFSA mistakes. Of these, I would say that (2) applying late, (9) missing additional application requirements, and (10) not applying at all are the biggest mistakes.

Q: After all the paperwork is collected, what can students expect from the online application process? How does it need to be completed? Can you save a “draft” and come back and finish it if needed?

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A: The FAFSA should not take more than an hour to complete. If you get interrupted, you can always save your progress and come back later to complete it. Both the student and parent must sign the FAFSA using an FSA ID to submit.

A: Within a few days of submitting their FAFSA, the student will receive an email with a link to the Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR is a summary of all the data you entered on the FAFSA, which should be checked for errors. If you discover an error, you can go back to your FAFSA, correct the error, and resubmit your FAFSA. In addition, the SAR will notify the student of issues related to their submission, such as mismatched Social Security numbers or citizenship information that needs to be followed up.

The colleges that the student has listed on the FAFSA will receive the student’s information at that time. Financial aid offices will review the form and may request additional information if needed. College aid offices determine a student’s eligibility for any federal, state, and institutional aid and notify the student of eligibility.

How Long Does Financial Aid Process Take

Answer: School hearing timelines can be scheduled based on the college’s schedule, when the student applies, and whether the student is in the Early Action, Early Decision, or Regular Decision process. Financial aid notifications for new students are usually sent out first, generally between December and March, and awards for returning students come in the spring.

Financial Aid Faqs

Q: If a student does not have enough financial aid to cover the costs, what do you recommend regarding loans and scholarships?

Answer: I recommend checking the college’s monthly payment plan before borrowing. Payment plans are generally interest-free, so they are cheaper than student loans. If you need to borrow, check federal loans ( first. They will have competitive interest rates, flexible repayment options and built-in protections such as death or permanent disability cancellation.

My favorite scholarship search site is, although students should be aware that online scholarships can be very competitive (because everyone is getting the same scholarship online). Students should contact high school counselors, community groups, places of worship, employers, and parents’ employers to find additional scholarship opportunities. If your goal is to get a job after graduation or continue to a four-year college, get financial aid. Aid can help you pay for college now and graduate with less debt, no debt or a more manageable payment plan.

Students must complete a new FAFSA for each school year. See below to find out which semester is covered by the FAFSA and which tax returns are required when you apply. You will need to apply for your FAFSA for both years.

Student Financial Aid Flow Chart

The FAFSA is the starting point for all financial aid opportunities, and it is important to submit one each year.

Ivy Tech offers many ways to save on your education, including scholarships, grants, and waived fees.

Join us on October 4th for a special [email protected] at your Ivy Tech campus. At this event, you can explore the campus, learn more about financial aid, and get guidance from our staff about submitting your FAFSA.

How Long Does Financial Aid Process Take

For state aid, you must apply by April 15 prior to the school year you wish to attend.

How To Complete Your Fafsa Application

If you would like to increase your loan amount, complete the Federal Direct Student Loan Application at /financial-aid/forms.html.

Once an application is submitted to the Financial Aid Office, your loan will be resubmitted to you within 14 days (if you qualify), and you can receive all or part of it on MyIvy.

If corrections are made to your FAFSA during the verification process, we will receive your updated FAFSA within 7 days. Once we have the updated FAFSA, your file will be reviewed again to make sure all information is up to date. This follow-up review will take up to 10 business days. If any additional information is required after this follow-up review is complete, you will be notified via your Ivy Tech email.

When you submit the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) at the email address you provided.

Higher Education Financial Aid Webinar

And the US Department of Education. Check your SAR to ensure all data is correct and make any necessary changes online.

If you have not received your SAR within three weeks of filing, visit or call 800-4-FED-AID to check the status of your FAFSA.

Ivy Tech offers many ways to save on your education, including a variety of gift options. Gift aid includes scholarships, grants and other items

How Long Does Financial Aid Process Take

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