Excerpts from:
Financial Aid Officers:
What They Do To You—And For You

11th Edition
By Donald Moore

Here is a synopsis of the steps each financial aid applicant should follow:

1. If you are going to apply for financial aid, know the deadline dates, what they mean, and apply by those dates. Do not expect the aid administrators to change dates for you.

2. Make sure the applications are complete and accurate. People trying to make sense out of someone's financial statement must receive complete and accurate information.

3. If you are going to visit the college, make an appointment to speak with the financial aid administrator as well as the admission officer.

4. Keep records of all material submitted to the college or processor so you have evidence of doing what you said you did.

5. Use certified mail to make sure all documents reach the proper destination on time and that you have evidence of this.

6. Do not wait for tax forms to be completed before you file. You are allowed to make "reasonable" estimates.

7. Make certain to respond to any and all inquiries and requests as quickly as possible.

8. Call before you visit the college to make sure the person you want to visit will be available.

9. Read all of the materials from the financial aid office carefully. If you have questions, ask the people who should know, not your neighbor or your uncle who has a friend in the business.

10. Understand the terms and conditions of all assistance offered. Make sure the offer is a solid commitment and not just an estimate or preliminary assessment of eligibility.

11. If you have been dealing with an intermediary like a coach, department head, or other college official who seems to be offering some kind of financial assistance, make sure the intermediary has the authority to do that. Check with the financial aid office.

12. Inform the financial aid office of any outside scholarships, grants, or other assistance you will be receiving.

13. Review the student expense budget carefully to make sure it contains all the reasonable costs you will incur for your education.

14. All FAFSAs must be resubmitted each year.

15. When in doubt, ask.

16. Read "Financial Aid Officers". Learn who it is that is awarding you aid and what they need from you. Then, get the aid you deserve!
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