Financial aid is usually awarded in a "package," which can consist of one or all of the following components: a scholarship or grant (usually directly from the university) which does not need to be repaid, a loan (usually from the federal government), and an on-campus job. Distribution is based on financial need.
Most financial assistance is administered through the financial aid office of individual colleges. Therefore, care should be taken to make application for financial aid at each of the colleges to which the student applies. In most instances this will require that the family file some combination of the following three forms:
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The Federal government will process this form free of charge. Almost every college or university requires this form. It asks families to supply information about their income and assets and is most easily filled out using a completed tax return (questions will refer to specific lines of the 1040 or 1040A). The FAFSA will be available in early January of the senior year and should be filed electronically atwww.fafsa.ed.gov.
College Board's PROFILE Form
Most private colleges and universities require more information than the FAFSA can provide. Therefore, many of these schools will ask the financial aid applicant to complete the PROFILE. The PROFILE application consists of two parts: an initial registration form available online at www.collegeboard.com which should be completed in the fall of the senior year, as soon as the student's list of colleges to which he or she will apply is finalized. The College Board will process the initial PROFILE registration form and will return to the family forms that have been customized to gather the information required by each of the schools listed on the initial form. Since the College Board is gathering this information on behalf of the participating schools, there is a processing fee which accompanies the PROFILE. The 2006-07 costs were $18.00 per college listed, plus a one-time $5.00 service charge.
Because some colleges object to the high fees associated with the PROFILE form, they choose to request additional information using a form that they developed in-house. Be aware, however, that a few colleges require the FAFSA, the PROFILE, and their own institutional form! Because colleges often differ in their requirements to receive financial aid, students should contact the financial aid office at the schools they wish to attend to determine which forms are necessary and to request that these forms be forwarded to them.
In addition to money distributed by the Federal government or individual colleges and universities, the Georgia Student Finance Commission, (2082 East Exchange Place, Tucker, Georgia 30084, 770-724-9000) awards some additional funds based on merit or financial need. Information about State Grants such as the Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant is available on the www.gacollege411.org website.
The financial aid office of each college to which you apply is the best source of information concerning the scholarships available at the institution. Please remember that the Deerfield-Windsor College Counseling Office receives only a limited number of scholarship notices from the colleges, which we pass along to students. A comprehensive list of scholarships about which Deerfield-Windsor has been notified is available in the College Counseling Office and in Naviance.
As scholarship bulletins come to the attention of the College Counseling Office, they are posted on bulletin boards, publicized to seniors and made available for perusal in the College Counseling Office. Individuals are encouraged to pursue any scholarships for which they may be eligible either by reason of employment, service, association membership, talent, or major field of interest.
You are also encouraged to complete a free scholarship search athttp://www.fastweb.com/.