You have all those admission and financial aid applications done. You have your acceptance letter and your financial aid package. Now you’re on campus, taking classes, and you’re all set. All you have to think about is your first semester exams before semester break. Guess what? Getting financial aid is a yearly process.
You will have to fill out another application, the Renewal Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid (R-FASA). Click here to get a free on-line application and other information. If your college requires the CSS-Profile Application, you’ll have to fill that out, too. (Not all colleges do require the CSS-Profile so it’s best to check at the Financial Aid Office on your campus.)
Deadlines still count. Federal, state, and college deadlines are all different. Again, it’s best to hurry right now over to your Financial Aid Office and find out what your situation is. Some deadlines are as early as the second week in January (2010).
You’ll also still have to be eligible. That means you have to meet your college’s grade minimum and not be in academic trouble. And, you have to be taking the minimum number of credit hours your college requires for you to be a full-time student. Finally, you have to have paid your bills as a good faith borrower. Because grants and loans are paid automatically by the lenders, you’re all set there, but if part of your financial package included work-study, you have been getting those checks directly and should have been paying off any remaining debt.
Here’s hoping you haven’t done the typical first-year college student’s thing and let your grades nose dive, that you didn’t drop any courses, that you have no outstanding debt, and that you get on the ball NOW and let the financial aid people on your campus help you get your ducks in a row for the money you’ll need to return to college your sophomore year. Be sure to check another helpful website, Simpletuition.com, which can help you compare loan information for both undergraduate and graduate degrees.