FAFSA and Financial Aid

FAFSA and Financial Aid 

Still working on submitting your FAFSA? If you’re having some trouble, these resources may have what you need:

*A student is considered non-traditional in the context of FAFSA if: a student has a legal guardian that is not their biological parent, they have a child, they are/have experienced homelessness, they are undocumented, and/or their family does not file taxes.

Already submitted the FAFSA? Here is an overview of what comes next.

Financial Aid Verification 
Verification is a process by which federal student aid or your college verifies the information included on the FAFSA. If you are selected, you must complete all necessary steps in order to receive any of your aid. Here is what you need to know.
You can find out if you were selected for verification a few different ways :

  • Receiving an email from your college
  • Checking your online student portal under the financial aid section

Reviewing your Student Aid Report (SAR)

IRS Forms
Most students must submit a Tax Transcript as part of their verification process. The IRS website allows you to request online or via mail. Requesting by mail is still an online form that you can complete from any mobile device. Please make sure you enter the following information:

  • When prompted, choose “Tax RETURN Transcript” (not Account transcript)
  •  Request for the 2018 Tax Year
  • Where it asks for “Customer File Number,” you may leave that blank.

Loan Counseling and MPN (Master Promissory Note)
What is loan counseling? If you have not previously received a Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), the Federal Government requires you to complete entrance counseling to ensure that you understand the responsibilities and obligations you are assuming.

What is an MPN? A Master Promissory Note is essentially a contract you sign with the federal government assuring them that you will pay back your loans. You must complete your MPN for your specific college.

Instructions to complete loan counseling

College Cost Comparison and Understanding your Award Letter 
Affordability is a major piece of choosing the right college. Use these steps to compare Cost of Attendance of different colleges.

Cost of Attendance is the total of what it will cost to attend a college/university. Included in Cost of Attendance is tuition, fees, housing, meals and often times books/supplies

  1. Click on this tool to find out the Cost of Attendance of your college.
  2. Put the name of the school in the "Look Up A College By Name" box.
  3. When your college page is pulled up, click the "Paying" button on the middle of the screen.
  4. In a new tab, open the Compare Student Aid Awards tool. Enter the information from your college search in the "Cost of Attendance" section.
  5. In the same tool, add in your financial aid award. If you do not have an award letter, you can create an estimate using this information:
    Full Pell Grant (EFC0) = $6095
    Federal Direct Loans (Student Loans): $5500
  6. Click calculate to see your potential gap cost or your potential refund at each college.


Sometimes it can be hard to know which scholarship to apply for, and like there are so many scholarships out there. Here are our favorite scholarship search sites that should cut down your options to find the scholarships that are well-suited to you.

College Greenlight
College Board

Don't forget to read through the emails from your senior counselors about other scholarships you may be eligible for!