Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Financial Aid Tools

With college acceptance letters rolling in (or collected), and and financial aid season underway, here are some e-resources to help you get through the madness...

 CollegeAbacus.com - This free service allows you to get financial aid estimates from colleges (versus contacting each individually) so you can compare projected financial aid packages across schools to identify those institutions that are within your budget. You can also use the Abacus Shopping Sheet to put all your financial aid letters into the federal shopping sheet format.

Virginia residents should also visit the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia website. There is a handy chart showing financial aid programs for undergraduate students in Virginia broken down by need, merit-base, both or none.

Have you completed your FAFSA form? Many states and colleges use your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, whether it be grants and scholarships or student loans. Some private financial aid providers may also use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.

Student Aid Deadlines
  • Federal Deadline: Online applications must be submitted by midnight Central Time, June 30, 2013Any corrections or updates must be submitted by midnight Central Time, September 24, 2013.
  • State Deadline: Virginia - Also check with your financial aid administrator. Additional form may be required.
  • College Deadline: Check with the college(s) you are interested in attending. You may also want to ask your college about its definition of an application deadline - whether it is the date the college receives your FAFSA, or the date your FAFSA is processed.

For more information about financial aid and college in general, visit the library's For the College Bound section on our website, which includes resources available in the library's collection as well as recommended websites.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

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