Financial Aid

Financial aid, step by step

If you have a child going to college next year, chances are you'll be applying for financial aid. The FAFSA®, which is the main application for college financial aid, becomes available on October 1st this year, giving you the opportunity to submit the form much earlier than in previous years. Most colleges have financial aid due dates set in February or March, so you have plenty of time to apply. But make sure to check the deadline at every school your student may attend next year – you can find that on each college or university's financial aid website. It is crucial for you to apply for financial aid on time.

If you're new to the financial aid process, check out our visual below, which walks through each step. You'll learn more about the FAFSA, as well as additional financial aid applications, how colleges determine your financial aid offer, and several free resources that can help you through the next several months.

Navigating the presentation is easy — simply use the left and right arrows at the bottom of the slides to get through the content. If you'd like to see it big screen, use the 2-way diagonal arrows to view the presentation in full-screen mode, then navigate the presentation by using the arrows on your keyboard.

We'll continue to provide financial aid guidance throughout the year. Be sure to sign up for our emails if you haven't already, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Through each avenue we'll share financial aid updates and tips, post scholarships, and let you know of upcoming webinars and events to help you stay on track. And if you have questions, we're ready to help anytime. Call us at (800) 449-MEFA (6332) or email us at