Student Financial Aid Checklist
For the Class of 2020
Before January 1, 2020
- Visit the website of every college you will apply to and read through thier financial aid information. Use their Net Price Calculator tool to get an estimate of what it wil cost your family to attend.
- Apply for a FSA ID for yourself and at least one parent at https://fsaid.ed.gov as this is what is used to sign the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- As soon as possible after its October 1st release, complete and submit your FAFSA, along with any other financial aid applications your chosen school(s) may require. You should submit your FAFSA by the earliest financial aid deadline of the schools to which you are applying, usually by early February.
- Check the box on the FAFSA saying you want to be considered for Work Study
- Determine if any college on your list requires the CSS PROFILE; if so, find the deadline by visiting their website at https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/prf/index.jsp
- Register for and complete the CSS PROFILE if required (deadline may be before January 1st).
- Know each college's FAFSA deadline. Some California schools will have a March 2nd deadline but don't wait until then to submit your completed FAFSA.
- After you submit the FAFSA, you should received your Student Aid Report (SAR) within three days to three weeks. This document lists your answers to the questions on your FAFSA and gives you some basic information about your aid eligibility. Make any necessary corrections and submit them to the FAFSA processor.
- Follow the individual instructions received from each college financial aid office (FAO). Send everything requested and do so immediately.
- Contact a school's financial aid office if you have any questions about the aid that school has offered you.
- Develop a comparison chart of realistic and specific costs for each college. Start with the financial aid office student budget and build upon these. Add unique expenses you might face.
- Search for scholarships and begin applications. Drake maintains a scholarship list on Naviance under the Colleges tab and then under the heading Scholarships & Monies, and then Scholarship List. Click hereto log on to Naviance.
- Also search these scholarship sites: www.fastweb.com; www.finaid.org; www.scholarships4school.com and https://www.chegg.com/scholarships
After January 2, 2020
Information from: California Student Aid Commission (www.csac.ca.gov)
- You will receive a separate communication from the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) about the Cal Grant Program if you listed at least one California college/university on your FAFSA. Go to https://mygrantinfo.csac.ca.gov/ and create your WebGrants 4 Students account (WGS) to monitor your state grant status.
- After receiving financial aid offers from the schools where you are accepted, read the entire offer and follow all instructions.
- Compare the financial aid offers you receive from all schools where you are accepted.
- Contact the FAO if you have questions.
- If you have applied to a community college, your offer of financial aid notification will probably come later (June or July).
- Decide which college you will attend (typically before May 1, 2020 for four-year colleges).
- Do not make a May 1st deposit until you are sure of the offer of financial aid is OK for you and your family. Work with the FAO and Admissions Offices if you have concerns.
- Use your WebGrants (WGS) account to make school and address changes.
- Notify the college FAO immediately if you receive any resources (like a scholarship) after you receive your offer of financial aid, or if there are other significant changes in your circumstances.
- If you receive a student loan offer which you plan to accept, you will be required to complete an “entrance counseling” session and master promissory note before getting the proceeds.
- If you receive a Federal Work Study offer, find out from the college how you get a job.
- Remember! You must renew your financial aid application (FAFSA) each year. Your FSA ID stays with you forever so keep it in a safe place where you can access it easily. Stay on top of your emails during this time and be sure to follow any instructions given to you by your college. For example, they may request additional financial information from you and you wouldn’t want to miss their deadlines.