Find out what Donna Kendall, executive director of enrollment management and financial assistance, says you can do to make your application successful.
- Get your FAFSA PIN now.
To apply for aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), both you and your parent completing the form must have a FAFSA PIN. It can take up to three business days for you to receive your PIN, so don't wait to apply. You will use the same PIN to apply for financial aid and access your federal loan information each year, so keep it in a safe place.
- Apply online and on time.
Online applications can be processed more quickly, allowing you to receive an earlier financial aid decision. They’re also more convenient — with an online application, you’ll see only the questions relevant to your situation, and they have built-in systems to prevent errors or omissions that can delay processing. And of course, be sure to stay on top of deadlines.
- Apply for private scholarships.
Use a free search engine such as FastWeb to find scholarships. Many allow you to create a personal profile that can help you identify the specific awards that are the best fit for you. Also check in with your guidance counselor for scholarships offered by your school or town; your parents’ employers may award them as well.
- It’s ok to estimate.
Don’t wait until you’ve filed your federal income tax forms to complete the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE. We can prepare a tentative financial aid package based on your estimates; once we have received your official 2012 tax return, we will review your award before confirming it. If your income for 2012 is similar to that for 2011, consider using your 2011 return as a guide.
- Don’t be scammed.
We have two rules of thumb at Bentley. First, if a scholarship offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And second, if you have to pay money to get money, think twice. The Federal Trade Commission has more information on avoiding scholarship scams.