The-financial-aid-timeline-large

The Financial Aid Timeline

Applying for financial aid and qualifying for it is a long process that requires a lot of discipline and patience. It’s true that there are millions of dollars available to you, but at the same time, lots of students are vying for those funds. So one of the worst errors that you can make is waiting until the last minute to get help completing your financial aid paperwork. The earlier you start, the more time you get to complete the necessary requirements, and you’ll be able to make wise decisions about the process. Those that wait until the last minute run the risk of being disqualified based on application deadlines or because simple mistakes weren’t corrected. But what should you do if you’ve let it get down to the wire? Should you even try? Of course you should! The following timeline will help you determine what steps you should take to qualify for financial aid.

The earlier you start, the more time you get to complete the necessary requirements, and you’ll be able to make wise decisions about the process.

Financial Aid Timeline for Seniors in High School

  • August of your Junior Year: By this time, summer vacation is almost over and your last year of high school is rapidly approaching. It’s a super important year academically, which makes this a good time to look over the FAFSA application and start getting together the documents you’ll need to fill it out. This will give you time to get the information you need but don’t yet have.
  • January 1st of your Senior Year: In addition to ringing in the New Year, this is the first day that the FAFSA for the following school year is available. Students beginning college in the summer or fall of the same year should submit an application.
  • March of your Senior Year: Many state governments have financial aid deadlines for grants and scholarships that take place in March, including: California, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island and West Virginia. In addition to having your FAFSA ready, make sure you’re aware of specific state requirements.
  • June of your Senior Year: Some states have financial aid deadlines for grants and scholarships that take place in June, including: Alaska, Arkansas, Washington, DC, Louisiana, New Jersey, and South Carolina.
  • June 30th of your Senior Year: Congratulations on your graduation! Before you get distracted by celebrating, this is the very last day to submit your FAFSA if you haven’t done so already!

Other Important Dates to Be Aware Of
Each state government has its own deadline for financial aid application submissions. Most of the time, funds are available to in-state residents going to a public university. In addition to this timeline, you should also be aware of any deadlines for funds offered by the college or university you choose to attend. Also, make sure to find out what the requirements are before the deadline.

Submit your FAFSA form after January 1st of your Senior year; keep up with scholarships and university requirements deadlines.

Don’t forget, that just like you, hundreds of thousands of students are figuring out how to pay for their college education. As mentioned before, the longer you put off sorting out financial aid logistics, the lower your chances of qualifying for the financial aid you need. The students that sort this stuff out with plenty of time will see the fruits of their labor: money for college! Go ahead and organize your financial aid outlook now; you’ll be happy you did!

Photo by Abel Arciniega

Have a question? Let us know.
    • College_plan College Plan

      A personalized ten-step plan to assess where you are now and what you need to do next to get into college.

      Get started

    • Scholarship_tracker Scholarship Tracker

      The largest bilingual database of Hispanic scholarships to help you pay for college.

      Learn more

    • Awesome_box Awesome Box

      A place to save online resources that help you along your College Plan. Your Awesome Box is accessible at any time.

      Learn more