Do's and Don'ts


File a FAFSA application for aid. Without the application you will not be considered for need-based grants, Stafford Loans and federal work study.

Attend a financial aid seminar. High schools, colleges or community groups usually offer free presentations in December or January.

Rely on professional advice offered free of charge from high school guidance counselors and college financial aid administrators.

Obtain all required literature from your selection of prospective colleges and comply with their application requirements and deadlines.

Fail to file an application.

Wait until you get accepted to a school to file the financial aid application. File aid applications for all schools you are interested in by their published deadlines.

Rely on acquaintances and relatives for financial aid advice. No one school, family or circumstance are the same.

Send information by special delivery, overnight mail or private carrier. Use first class mail, unless instructed otherwise.

Sign, date, or submit the FAFSA application prior to January 1 of the year you will be attending school.