Hi everyone it’s hard to believe that my first year of college is nearly done!! I apologize for the late blog; things have just been quite hectic lately! Originally I intended to do a video blog for this blog in particular but I have laryngitis (ahhhhh – of course that yell is in my head, because I can’t speak =]!) Nonetheless, spring break went by extremely fast, and because I attend a private institution my break was in early March, whereas my friends who attend state or city schools have their spring recess in April, during the actual spring!!

In this blog I want to cover the financial aid process for college freshmen, as I am currently going through the steps myself. I think you will find that it is very similar, if not virtually the same, to the financial aid application process senior year of high school.

1.  The FAFSA: Of course with every New Year comes a new FAFSA application. Once January 1st rolls around you should definitely fill out your FAFSA!! Although Federal Aid is decreasing  as the years pass, due to the influx of college applicants each year, the federal government still allocates a certain amount of money specifically for financial aid, therefore the sooner you fill out your FAFSA the better! Not to mention it’s free!!

2. The CSS Profile: Most colleges also require students to fill out the CSS Profile application, which schools use to determine financial aid packages.  Unlike the FAFSA however, there is a minimal charge for this service, depending on the amount of schools you apply to. (Of course, once enrolled, there is only one charge)

3. IDOC: I recently mailed my IDOC packet. If you are not familiar with this process do not fret, only certain schools require this in lieu of a standard financial aid application.

  1. The IDOC is a package you assemble yourself that includes a cover sheet, a signed copy of your or your parents most recent tax return, an income verification worksheet, a Student Non-tax Filer Statement (which is a document acknowledging that you will not file taxes for the academic year)

4. If your school has its own financial aid application, you will most likely have to send a recent copy of your or your parents’ tax return, along with their own specific institution documents.

5. Last but not least, in some cases special additional documents maybe required. For example, I myself only live with my mother, and have no particular knowledge of my father; in this case I am required to submit a Non-custodial Parent Fee Waiver Request, which essentially disregards my father’s monetary contribution to by college education.  Or in other instances, you may be required to submit a Business/Farm Supplement if your parents own more than one business or farm. Specific institutions also have their own explicit documents, for more information contact the school itself or look on the IDOC website.

Well guys that’s the financial aid process in a nutshell!!

Stay healthy,