Welcome to February! The Ground Hog has seen your college application and... Okay, you tell me what the Ground Hog said. 

Meanwhile, on the financial aid front, a few tips and critical reminders:

- You MUST submit a “CORRECTED” FAFSA once you have filed your 2014 income tax returns. [The FAFSA Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is now available. It may be utilized approximately 10-days after you file your federal tax return, if filed electronically.]

- If you will be attending a college physically located in New York (whether public or private), you must make sure your TAP application lists that college. [If you haven’t filed your TAP application as part of the FAFSA submission process, you may do so at NYS HESC.]

- If you submitted the CSS Profile, you may receive an email asking you to complete iDocs online. This is a verification process and is required for those colleges that use the Profile to determine financial aid awards. [Do NOT complete iDocs unless and until asked to do so.]

- Be aware that some colleges have their own, proprietary financial aid forms, in addition to the CSS Profile and/or FAFSA, that must be completed in order to be considered for finanacial aid, whether need-based or merit. Check the college websites or with the individual college’s financial aid office for particulars.

- YES, you can (and often should) negotiate your financial aid award!

- All financial aid awards must be either accepted or declined, typically via the college’s web portal.

- Are you searching and applying for scholarships? They are out there, just waiting for you. Find them in your community, at the workplace, in the Guidance office, on college financial aid pages, and through scholarship search engines such as fastweb.comKeep digging!

-Taking a Federal Direct Student Loan (Stafford) or a Parent PLUS Loan? Entering Freshmen and those who are taking federal loans for the first time MUST complete the online counseling and the Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov before any money will be disbursed. [This is done after you accept your financial aid award.]

Still haven’t submitted FAFSA or started the scholarship search? What in the name of student debt are you waiting for?

Sufficiently confused and perplexed? Not sure of your next move? Don’t leave a penny in financial aid on the table or any stone unturned.

Call us at COLLEGE CONNECTION at 516-345-8766 with your questions about FAFSA, CSS Profile, scholarships, financial aid, or any part of the college application and admissions process?

Plan. Prepare. PREVAIL!

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