Student Financial Aid Calendar
Remember these dates as you apply for financial aid for college
As you complete your high school education and look ahead to college, you should know that the college application process—and the closely related search for student financial aid—is ruled by a calendar, just as is the case with much else in life. While there may be some flexibility in some of the dates on the financial aid calendar, you'll need to be cognizant of the fact that there is no wiggle room at all in the most important date: January 1st of your high school senior year.
This date on the student financial aid calendar represents the first day you can complete and file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the standard application through which every student in America applies for financial aid for college. You cannot file the FAFSA before January 1st, but should do so as soon as possible after that date, if you plan to attend college in the fall of that year.
It is highly recommended to file as early as possible after the first of the year, or you could find yourself shut out of aid at various institutions to which you've applied. Even if you do not have all of the necessary information to complete the form (for example your tax information and your parents tax information), you can always go back in at a later date when the information is available. You'll also need to pay close attention to the deadlines the schools you are interested in have established for filing your student financial aid information.
When applying for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan you will need to consider when the college acceptance letter is awarded and the timing of the loan. Federal Direct PLUS loans are based on good credit and typically a credit report is only valid for a 90 day period.
If you need to make corrections to any of the information you included on your FAFSA, or if you notice something is incorrect on your Student Aid Report (the report generated from the information on your FAFSA), make sure you update it as soon as possible. You can make your updates online via the www.fafsa.ed.gov.
State deadlines for student financial aid
Finally, if you're applying for aid to your state department of education (which you should consider as we recommend you exhaust all available federal and state financing options), again you'll need to check with your administrator or guidance counselor. In many states, the deadlines for filing student financial aid applications are even earlier than those at the federal level. Connecticut's deadline, for instance, is in February, while Ohio's is in October.
Wherever you're headed for college, it's important to keep these key dates in mind, as well as the admission deadlines and tuition deposit deadlines (typically May 1) for your school of choice. We recommend after you have exhausted eligibility for grants, scholarships and federal loans that you consider a private loan to cover the remaining costs.
Learn more about our affordable Citizens Bank TruFit Student Loan®
To supplement your financial aid for college, you can find helpful information about our affordable Citizens Bank TruFit Student Loan®. If you still have questions, call a student loan specialist at 1-800-708-6684, and we'll help walk you through the process.