Applying for Financial Aid

Seniors: Beware of financial aid scams


Applying for financial aid can be complicated, and the stakes are high. You may have received offers of help in the mail or see them on the Web and in magazines. Some of these are legitimate. Others are from individuals or companies trying to make money off unsuspecting students and parents. Beware of come- ons like these:

• “This scholarship is guaranteed or your money back!”

• “Attend our seminar to understand how to get more financial aid.”

• “We guarantee you’ll get aid.”

• “The scholarship requires a small fee.”

Never pay a fee to locate scholarship or aid information. And avoid any organization or service that either guarantees a reward or charges a fee for completing the FAFSA or applying for or receiving a scholarship.

Information on legitimate financial aid and scholarships is easily available at no cost at:


The U.S. Department of Education

College Goal Sunday 

The College Board 


• Your local library

• Your high school college counseling

Seniors: File the FAFSA!

Apply for financial aid by completing the FAFSA! The single largest mistake families make in the college application process is failing to apply for financial aid. So apply, even if you think you won't qualify. You may be surprised.  Whether you are considering attending two-year or four-year colleges— all students applying for financial aid will complete a FAFSA.

And check to see if the schools on your list also require the CSS PROFILE (College Scholarship Service Profile) that is available from the College Board. Many private colleges and universities -- and some scholarship programs -- require this financial aid form in addition to the FAFSA in order for you to be considered for receiving institutional financial aid. A list of the schools and programs that require the CSS PROFILE can be found here. The CSS PROFILE should be completed by the earliest school or program filing date. Check the deadlines at each college to which you are applying.

Information on financial aid can be found here:

The U.S. Department of Education