For college-bound seniors, January is a busy time of year. Your classes are challenging, and you are doing the hard work of putting the finishing touches on your college applications. While it is important to focus on the application process, keep in mind that completing the financial aid process can be every bit as important as the application itself.
If you are applying for financial aid, we strongly encourage you to think of applying to college and applying for financial aid as “parallel” processes. We recommend working on both simultaneously. By doing so, you not only save time and effort, you also reduce the risk of missing important deadlines.
Here are 6 steps to help guide you through the financial process:
Step 1: Not sure if you qualify for financial aid?
Before you start the financial aid application process, take the guesswork out of your aid eligibility. Twenty minutes of your time and our Net Price Calculator is all that is needed for you to receive an instant estimate of how much and what types of financial aid you qualify for during the 2018-2019 academic year. F&M’s Net Price Calculator is available here.
Step 2: Indicate “Yes”
If you are applying to F&M and would like to be considered for financial aid, be sure to indicate your interest in financial aid on your college application by clicking YES to the question, “Do you intend to apply for need-based financial aid?” in the college specific section of your application to F&M.
Step 3: Complete the 2018-2019 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The FAFSA is used to determine a student’s eligibility for federal student aid, including a federal Pell Grant and federal direct loans. Almost all colleges and universities require the FAFSA as part of the financial aid application process. To complete the FAFSA, please visit the federal government’s website. The FAFSA must be submitted to F&M by February 1, 2018. F&M’s Federal code is 003265.
Step 4: Complete the 2018-2019 CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE
Many private colleges, like F&M, commit a large budget for financial aid. The CSS/PROFILE is the application used by many of these schools to determine a student’s eligibility for institutional financial aid.
To be eligible for Franklin & Marshall need-based grants, students must complete the CSS/PROFILE by February 1, 2018. To access this important part of the financial aid application process, please use the College Board’s website. F&M’s school code is 2261.
Step 5: Submit your family’s 2016 federal tax documents (returns, schedules, W-2s) through "IDOC"
What is IDOC? It is a service offered in conjunction with the CSS/PROFILE that allows families to submit their 2016 federal tax records electronically. After you have submitted the CSS/PROFILE, instructions on how to use the IDOC will be automatically sent to you via email. Federal tax documents are due by February 1, 2018.
Step 6: Verify that all financial aid documents are successfully submitted by the appropriate deadline(s)
Are you sure all of the colleges on your list have received the necessary financial aid documentation? Don't assume! Go online to verify that everything related to financial aid is fully complete. When in doubt, call the Office of Financial Aid to confirm that your financial aid application is in order.
Did you know?... Outside scholarships earned by F&M students from organizations external to the College will benefit the student to the greatest extent possible. Outside scholarships will be added on top of a student's already packaged institutional grant up to the College's Cost of Attendance. Per federal regulations, to which all colleges must adhere, adjustments to federal funds in a student's package may be required.
As you complete the financial aid process, questions may arise. If you need any help at any time, please feel free to reach out to our dedicated and knowledgeable financial aid staff. They can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (717) 358-3991.