You should pay special attention to the many deadlines in the student financial aid application process. Missing a deadline could prevent you from receiving some or all of the aid you are eligible to receive.
What deadlines do I have to meet?
Whether you apply electronically or by mail, the Department of Education must receive your paper FAFSA or your FAFSA on the Web transmission by midnight Central Daylight Time on the deadline date, for the school year. If the Department of Education does not receive your FAFSA or your transmission by that date, your application will not be processed, and you won't get any federal student aid for the award year.
Each school sets its own deadlines for students to apply for aid from the campus-based programs (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant [FSEOG], Federal Work-Study [FWS], and Federal Perkins Loan) and to apply for the school's own aid. The deadlines are usually much earlier than the June 30, deadline for filing a FAFSA. Check with the school for these deadlines. Also, states have their own deadlines for applying for state aid. Check with your state agency to find out what deadlines you have to meet. You might miss out on aid from these programs if you don't apply early.
There is also a deadline for your college or career school to receive your SAR. A valid record is complete and needs no corrections. If you do not list the school you plan to attend on your FAFSA, the school will not receive an electronic record. In such a case, there is a school deadline for you to submit a valid paper SAR to the school's financial aid office. Check with your college or career school for information on its deadline.
You may need to go to the financial aid office to certify that all the information on your electronic record is correct or to provide additional information if your school requests it.
Again, check with your school for more information on additional deadlines. If your application is selected for verification, your school might ask you to document that your application information is complete and correct.
Verification? What is that?
Verification is a process we use to make sure that the information applicants report is accurate. This process prevents ineligible students from receiving aid if they report false information, and it ensures that eligible students receive all of the aid they are qualified for.
Each year, we select a group of applications for verification. Some of these applications are selected because certain FAFSA information is inconsistent with other information reported on the application; others are chosen at random. Some colleges and career schools also choose applications for verification.
In any case, if your application is selected, you must give your financial aid office certain documentation to show that the application information is correct. The sooner you verify your information, the sooner you'll be able to receive financial aid if you're eligible. Check with your aid administrator to find out what the deadlines are to submit your documentation.