Financial Aid Applications

Documents, forms, applications, oh my!

Why so many forms? Well, the answer is actually quite simple. First, the number of colleges and students attending them has increased dramatically over the past twenty years. Along with the increased number of colleges and student enrollment is the rise in overall attendance costs. Third, the amount of federal, state and institutional (school) financial aid available require mores complex forms and more documents to verify a family's income and ability to pay.

College can be an expensive proposition, and though there’s an increasing amount of financial aid available for students, schools still want to attract certain types of students to their hallowed halls and at the same time fill their quotas for equal distributions of race, gender and economic status according to government, state and institutional regulations. So, how do the colleges accomplish this?

The solution... forms!

Anytime you involve federal, state and private regulatory systems to determine what your Expected Family Contribution is, your financial aid eligibility and the percentage of the aid you’ll actually receive, you need forms. Forms to check forms, forms to beget forms and forms to make you feel so helpless and frustrated, you have no alternative but to trust big business (the schools).

Just for fun, we’ve listed a ‘few’ forms you’re likely to encounter in your search for financial aid. The following list is just a sampling of many forms used and there could even be a few forms we’ve overlooked, like the entrance and exit loan application counseling sessions, etc. We’re pretty sure you’ll end up filling out a considerable number of the 30 listed below, and if you’re wondering if anyone ever really needed to use 30 forms, the answer is yes.

  1. CFAA
  2. CSS Profile Application
  3. CSS Profile
  4. CSS information return sheet
  5. FAFSA
  6. Renewal FAFSA
  7. Student Aid Report
  8. Corrected SAR
  9. Final SAR
  10. State Loan Application
  11. State Loan acceptance/denial
  12. SEOG Grant
  13. SSIG Grant
  14. PELL Grant
  15. State Grant Application
  16. State Grant Acceptance/Denial
  17. PERKINS Loan
  18. STAFFORD loan application
  19. Stafford acceptance
  20. Stafford loan denial
  21. School fin aid award letter
  22. Parent PLUS Loan application
  23. PLUS Loan acceptance/Denial
  24. Supplemental Stafford Loan
  25. Verification Form
  26. Forbearance Form
  27. Financial Aid appeal letter
  28. Special Circumstances form
  29. Deferment Form
  30. Tuition Prepayment plans

College Financial Aid Application.
Form to order CSS Profile
Financial Aid Application used by private Colleges & Universities
Forms showing all data placed on CSS Profile
Processes student & family financial aid data for SAR
Processes financial aid & family data for returning students for SAR
Student Aid Report that determines family's contribution
SAR where estimated income figures are replaced with actual income figures
SAR, with actual income figures that generate your final EFC
Document requiring questions be completed for State loan funds
Form stating amount eligible for or reason(s) why denied
Grant recipients with lowest expected family contribution
State Student Incentive Grant given to student as additional financial aid
Grant, need-based for families with low incomes (under $32,000.00)
Application requiring certain information to determine eligibility
Letter stating amount and disbursements or reason(s) denied
Perkins Loan acceptance form (Loan application handled by college)
Student signature only application to receive Stafford funds
List amount minus P & O fees and dates funds to be disbursed
Document stating specific reason(s) you are not eligible for Stafford
Financial aid the school determines the student qualifies for
Form requiring family and student data and amount required for the year
Tells amount loans and disbursement dates, or reason(s) you were denied
Unsubsidized Stafford loan given to student when PLUS Loan denied
Colleges require this form to verify family and student information is correct
Form to request loan payments be deferred 1-3 years due to financial hardship
Letter sent questioning and asking for Financial Aid reconsideration
Letter requesting explanation of and reconsideration of awarded aid
Request loan's interest and or principle be suspended for a period of time
Normally offered by colleges during late spring for upcoming year

As you can see, the average number of different forms that a family with an incoming freshman could handle may exceed 20, using multiple similar college financial aid forms, easily 26 forms. Returning students, on the average, will handle no less than 12 to 14 forms per year. (Phew!!) If you want job security maybe you should become a financial aid administrator!

The whole article can be found at The Financial Aid Journal

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