1.  Apply for a PIN number at the Federal Student Aid website.  Your PIN number allows you to electronically sign your FAFSA making it unnecessary to send in paperwork. The student and his/her parents (1 PIN works for the couple) need a PIN.
  2. Complete the FAFSA online here. Copies of the publication FAFSA on the Web Worksheet were mailed last month. This worksheet guides you through the questions that you will be asked on the application. If you prefer to complete a paper application, I can print one for you. Remember that the FAFSA has two parts – questions that apply to the student and questions that apply to the student’s parents. I would be glad to help you work through the application if you have questions or are having problems. Make sure to include the colleges on your FAFSA that you want your financial information sent to. If the student has applied to 3 colleges, indicate on the FAFSA that you want the results sent to all 3 of those colleges.
  3. Your FAFSA will be processed and you will be sent a Student Aid Report (SAR). This report summarizes all of the information provided on your FAFSA. The key result from this report is your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which appears in the upper corner. Carefully review your report. If corrections need to be made, go here and select “Make Corrections to a Processed FAFSA.”
  4. The colleges you have been accepted to and who have received your financial information through the FAFSA process will send you a Financial Aid Award Letter this spring. The college takes the Cost of Attendance and subtracts the Expected Family Contribution resulting in your Financial Need. The award letter will list what the college offers you to help cover this need including: grants, work-study, and loans. They may also include certain scholarships given specifically by that college. Private scholarships are outside of this process.

Visit our Financial Aid Resource Links Page for additional information and answers to your questions.

CollegeinColorado.org provides a complete online section covering Financial Aid. I am available to help community members (not just our high school seniors) in this process as well. Feel free to call me at the school if you would like copies of resources or need assistance in the financial aid process!