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Why does everyone rush to submit FAFSA and CSS to colleges?

mom5i52mom5i52 Posts: 90Registered User Junior Member
Why does everyone rush to submit FAFSA and CSS to colleges? What’s the advantage of this? The earlier you hand in, the more FA you are going to receive? I confused.

For need-blind colleges, only after admission dept tell FA dept who get admitted, then the FA dept starts to calculate this student’s FA package. Thousands of applications might take weeks to read, and to finalize the admitted student list. So, even though parents submit FAFSA and CSS early, it still has to wait there until admission decision is made. My understanding is, submitting FAFSA on Jan 1 or Jan 31 will be the same.

For need-aware and rolling admission, Colleges maybe start to consider students who submit FAFSA early.

Am I right? Please help, thanks.
Post edited by mom5i52 on

Replies to: Why does everyone rush to submit FAFSA and CSS to colleges?

  • kela10kela10 Posts: 172Registered User Junior Member
    Some campus based aid is first-come, first-serve.
  • mom5i52mom5i52 Posts: 90Registered User Junior Member
    Is it only for rolling admission? or just for current students? and EFC formular changes from time to time?
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 36,221Registered User Senior Member
    Even before acceptances, financial aid offices are working on financial aid for applicants. They complete them IF a student is accepted. Also, remember that the schools also inform finaid when students are denied so the file can be closed... And when accepted so the process can be completed.

    For incoming freshmen in particular, some need based funding is vey limited. This is awarded on a first come first served basis meaning the earlier you submit your forms the better your chance of receiving these awards. These include federal work study, SEOG if your school awards it, and the Perkins loans.
  • ordinarylivesordinarylives Posts: 2,113Registered User Senior Member
    If the school posts a priority deadline, whatever that may be, a filer has to get the FAFSA turned in by that date or face the posibility that institutional funds will be gone. If that date is Feb 1st, you're right. Makes no difference if one files Jan 1 or Jan 31, but (possibly) woe to him who submits Feb. 2.
  • SLUMOMSLUMOM Posts: 3,610Registered User Senior Member
    There is really only a "rush" if you have seniors applying to colleges.

    Trust me, it is much easier when you have "returning students", then the FA deadlines are usually March 1st or around there, depends on the school.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Posts: 11,457Registered User Senior Member
    All of the above is accurate advice. In the past with new freshman I never got mine done until the end of January because I needed all kinds of information from year-end statements and such, but I also never waited until the last minute either.
  • lakeaweadlakeawead Posts: 351Registered User Member
    So is it better to complete the FAFSA for an incoming freshman early, or is it okay to wait until the deadlines?
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Posts: 19,118Super Moderator Senior Member
    As early as possible for incoming freshmen.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Posts: 11,457Registered User Senior Member
    I agree...no need to scramble and try to get it done this weekend, but as soon as possible is generally the best for those with soon to be freshman. And yes, many colleges report that they review finaid packages somewhat in order received and they try to finish up the future freshman before they start on the upperclasses. Not sure if this is true or a myth, but it makes sense so I believed it. There's typically not one single person so of course it isn't a straight line how they review and assemble, but January is better than February which is better than March for completing the forms etc. Plus you want to get those finaid letters so you have more time to make decisions in the spring. There's always a few posts in the spring by frantic posters who are "waiting" for finaid letters close to the deadlines to commit to a college decision.
  • laticheverlatichever Posts: 995Registered User Member
    "And yes, many colleges report that they review finaid packages somewhat in order received and they try to finish up the future freshman before they start on the upperclasses."

    Are you saying it pays to submit before the priority deadline? Why else would they have one? I'm working on the assumption that as long as I meet the priority deadline I won't be at a disadvantage.
  • mom5i52mom5i52 Posts: 90Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks for all responses.
    I still confused. For incoming freshmen, if I meet the priority deadline which is no earlier than Feb.1, it makes no difference if I file on Jan 1 or Jan 31, is that correct? I want to make sure about it.
    If colleges "finish up the future freshman before they start on the upperclasses" so upperclasses don't have to rush at all. Do they have different formulars for different classes?
    "Also, remember that the schools also inform finaid when students are denied so the file can be closed... " do you mean they get all applicants' FA packages done even if only 10% students are admitted?
    Thanks.
  • SnowdogSnowdog Posts: 1,505Registered User Senior Member
    The "Paying for College" book recommended by some posters states that although it it critical to get the forms in by the deadline, there is no advantage to beating the deadline. If the deadline is Feb 1, according to the book, late January is just as good as early January.
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