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Financial Aid FAQs

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What is financial aid?

Financial aid is money to pay for college or career training in the form of grants, federal student loans, private/alternative loans, work study, and scholarships.

What is involved in the financial aid application process?

Watch this video for an overview of this process.

What is the FAFSA and where can I find it?

FAFSA is the acronym for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is available online.

How much does it cost to file the FAFSA?

As its name suggests, there is no charge to fill out or file the FAFSA.

How long does it take to complete the FAFSA?
Most people can complete the FAFSA in less than 30 minutes.

Is a financial aid offer final or can I negotiate for more money?

You have the option to appeal the financial aid offer you receive. Be aware, though, that some types of appeals, like those involving a change in a family's financial circumstances, are more likely to be successful than others. Also be aware that some institutions have more financial aid to offer than others, and thus may have more flexibility in adjusting their offers.

What are some common mistakes made on the FAFSA?

Watch this video and learn how you can avoid making costly mistakes on your FAFSA.

What is the deadline for applying for financial aid?

Online applications for federal aid for the 2014-2015 academic year must be submitted by midnight Central Time, June 30, 2015. Any corrections or updates must be submitted by midnight Central Time, September 19, 2015.

Deadlines for state aid institutional aid vary. Go to https://fafsa.ed.gov/deadlines.htm# and enter the state in which you are a legal resident to determine what the application deadline is for your state.

Deadlines for institutional aid also vary. Contact the institutions you are interested in attending to confirm their deadlines.

How often do I have to fill out the FAFSA?

The FAFSA has to be filled out annually for a child/family to be considered for financial aid.

When should I start thinking about financial aid for college?

It's never too early to start. Here's a simple checklist to help keep you on track to get the aid you need when it comes time to go to college.

Where can I go for more information about financial aid?

There are lots of resources online that provide information and advice about financial aid. Here are some of our favorites:

Here are two PowerPoint presentations on financial aid that also contain great information:

In addition, be sure to check out Maryland Public Television's "You Can Afford College" program.

And don't forget to investigate resources on financial aid provided through the state and individual institutions.

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