Financial Aid Timeline

Timeline and Application Steps for Financial Aid

STEP 1:         Early in the senior year fall semester, decide on your preferred schools of enrollment and complete each school’s admission application requirements by each school’s application deadline.  Do the same for campus housing, if you wish to reside on campus.

STEP 2:         Research each of your preferred schools’ scholarship and financial aid programs.  Pay attention to school/federal/state programs, eligibility criteria, application requirement, and application deadlines.  December 1 is a common application deadline for scholarships from the university, but some schools have earlier or later deadlines.  Check for any scholarships offered by specific departments, extracurricular programs, or other groups at the college.  Apply accordingly.

 STEP 3:        Investigate and apply for privately funded scholarship programs (church, employer, union, foundations, clubs, online).  Check with the Guidance Office for locally funded scholarship programs.  Complete all application requirements well before the deadlines.

STEP 4:         Obtain your electronic signature FAFSA PINs at for the student and for one custodial parent.

STEP 5:         On or shortly after October 1, of senior year in high school, file the upcoming school year’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at  You will use your PIN to electronically sign your FAFSA.  On your application, list the schools you’d like to receive your FAFSA.

STEP 6:         Contact the Financial Aid office at each school you’re considering to determine if other documents besides the FAFSA are required and the deadline to apply for ALL of that school’s scholarship-financial aid programs.  Certain schools may require an additional profile, their own scholarship/financial aid application, tax returns, etc.  Complete all non-FAFSA applications per each school’s requirements and deadlines.  In addition, ask when and how the student will be notified of her/her financial aid eligibility.

STEP 7:         Receive each school’s financial aid award package notification letter.  This award notification is sometimes mailed to the student’s home address, but other times is sent to the student via email or posted on the student’ online college account.  It is rarely, if ever, send to the parent(s).

STEP 8:         Understand each award package.  What programs are free, loan, or work programs?  Is there still a funding gap?  Follow each school’s detailed procedures to accept or reject each award.  Call the school’s Financial Aid Office if you have any questions.  You can also contact the FCHS Guidance Office for assistance.

STEP 9:         If the student and/or parent wishes to receive loans, the borrower must complete a promissory note for each specific loan. 

STEP 10:        No later than May 1, decide on your school of attendance and complete that school’s enrollment attendance confirmation procedures.

STEP 11:       Confirm with your school’s financial aid office that you have completed ALL of their requirements to receive your accepted aid programs.