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3 Things to Know About Financial Aid for High School Juniors

3 things to know about financial aid for high school juniors shared by Jodi Okun of College Financial Aid Advisors
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Students of all ages know that attending school is about learning new things! College is a chance to focus on a specialized area of study. But, before you can begin this new adventure, there’s a lot to do. There’s an application process and forms you need to file to pay for your college education. Whether your family is paying for part of your college degree, or you’re covering it all yourself, there’s a good chance you’ll need to rely on financial aid. Before you begin applications this fall as a high school junior, there’s a few things you should know! 

Start with FAFSA

 If you are not yet familiar with the term FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), now’s the perfect time to learn about it all! Filing the FAFSA is the first stop to determine your eligibility for federal, state, and most institutional college financial aid. Some schools might require you to complete a CSS Profile as well, so check requirements carefully. The application for the 2025-2026 cycle should be online October 1, 2024. Be prepared to file as soon as possible so you can give yourself the best opportunity of receiving all of the financial aid you qualify for.  Finally, don’t make assumptions that you won’t qualify for any aid. File anyway! 

The early bird gets the money! 

When it comes to applying for college, getting financial aid applications completed and filed early is always better. Right now, you should be narrowing down your college list. Then you can get a good handle on the application and financial aid deadlines. State deadlines could be as late as October and November of your senior year – but finish paperwork as early as you can. In addition to being the first to qualify for aid, an early application leaves you time to correct errors or submit any additional information required. 

Be prepared for the possibilities 

Applying for admissions and financial aid is a lot like many of the other situations – sometimes things will go your way and sometimes they won’t. The best thing to do is to be prepared for whatever might come your way and have backups in place. I encourage students to avoid being fully committed to any school until financial aid offers come in. Sometimes their dream school just isn’t feasible. Don’t forget to look for scholarships throughout the entire application process. Any extra money you find will come in handy to fill gaps or cover other costs, like books or supplies. 

Applying to college is full of many deadlines and lots of paperwork to file, but it’s also such an exciting time! Although it may feel early to start this process and think about college, now is the perfect time to begin planning and preparing for the application process. Continue to review other resources on my blog about financial aid and you’ll be ready to go this fall! 

More about Jodi and College Financial Aid Advisors

Jodi is a FAFSA financial advisor who helps with the financial aid process to help families of college students maximize their financial aid. From completing the FAFSA and completing the CSS Profile to reviewing the SAR, responding to requests for verification, comparing financial aid offers and understanding student loan options, Jodi is a fantastic resource when it comes to student financial aid. Schedule a 15 Minute Power Chat to learn more about finding ways to pay for college.

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