Dos 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 October or November.
  • 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 circumstances 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, when available, of the year before you will be attending school.
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