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Order of schools on FAFSA?

NyrikiNyriki Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
Does it really matter at all? Because my guidance counselor told me (AFTER I submitted my FAFSA -.-) to make sure to list a first choice instate school as first, so that my state can calculate the maximum financial aid I can get based on that school. Is this true?

If so, how may I change this order? I did not list schools in order of which I like most or anything. I just put them down without that in mind. Did I just ruin my chances at good instate aid?
Post edited by Nyriki on

Replies to: Order of schools on FAFSA?

  • backfirebackfire Registered User Posts: 1,155 Senior Member
    lol never heard of that before. Your counselor must be on crack or something
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 65,132 Senior Member
    The order doesn't matter at all.
  • easydoesitmomeasydoesitmom Registered User Posts: 354 Member
    I beg to differ on this subject of listing schools on FAFSA . My D listed her favorite private school first and she got a ton of aid ( and we did file it early in the base year ) --- and I noticed in retrospect , when she listed her in - State ones , the most aid was given at #2 choice ( in in- State school ) . The private outdid her State she she went to the private one . I guess it depends on how much the school wants the student .

    This apporach , however , would not work for out-of-state students ( for State schools ) .

    This same scenario seems to be happening with S's too .
  • novice07novice07 Registered User Posts: 110 Junior Member

    You've totally confused me........
  • bus52bus52 Registered User Posts: 215 Junior Member
    Worked in financial aid for years...
    Makes no difference which order you list the schools. absolutely, positively no difference.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,711 Senior Member
    bus52 - does it make any difference if you list other schools? My D has decided which school she is going to so we were just going to list that on FAFSA. If they see they are the only one we are applying to will they offer less aid? Is it worth listing the other 2 she applied to?
  • bus52bus52 Registered User Posts: 215 Junior Member
    I wouldn't list anywhere that she's not really considering.

    The number of schools she send her FAFSA to has no bearing on the amount of $ she receives from individual schools. The college does the actual awarding of the amounts (limited by federal regs) and has no idea what she's getting from any place else.

    You can always attempt to negotiate with the financail aid office. If you don't see what you want (Perkins, work study) on the award letter, ask for it or find out why you didn't get it. I'm not saying you'll always get more $$ or that they will listen to you, but in our office, all things being equal, the squeaky wheel got the extra funds if we had them.
  • HindooHindoo Registered User Posts: 5,849 Senior Member
    When we filed our FAFSA forms, we sent the six colleges with the closest financial aid application deadlines. (There's only room for six at a time, then, for some odd reason, they make you wait a few days before you can send more. Can anyone explain this?) ... I've never heard anything about listing colleges by order of preference on FAFSA. My understanding is that you send the application to the U. S. Department of Education, and the schools that you have listed can then access that information.
  • bus52bus52 Registered User Posts: 215 Junior Member
    A parent came in Thursday for this exact issue (6 schools) and I had to look it up on the counselor help site.

    If you have more than 6 schools who need to get your FAFSA:
    You list 6 schools, then you give DOE a few days to process the schools you listed. You then go back in to your FAFSA and delete your original schools and add the additional new schools you want to receive the FAFSA. No explanation why it's done like this. My guess is because it's free (unlike Profile, SAT, ACT) there's no benefit ($) to them (only more work) in you sending many copies out. So DOE makes it a hassle to send more than 6.

    Just my guess though!
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,711 Senior Member
    Thank you Bus52. Do the schools even see what other schools are listed? It's interesting to hear the veiw point from the other side of the fence. I suspect we parents worry too much about figuring the system out - especially after perusing these boards for a few too many hours. It is probably more cut and dried than we think.
  • bus52bus52 Registered User Posts: 215 Junior Member
    When we processed Student Aid Reoprts, we had no idea where elsee the kid had applied. I'm assuming it's the same now.

    I switched from financial aid into college counseling for high school kids. Different field but my financial aid background has been so helpful. I never thought about how complicated the process was because I did it for so long it seemed easy. Now, with all the kids and parents completely freaked about admissions-financial aid apps, FAFSA and Profile are the last things they want to deal with!
  • NyrikiNyriki Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    So, I'm okay? Or does it really depend on your state? My GC told me that NJ only calculates the aid they'll give you based on your school listed first. If it is not an NJ school, the aid will probably come out less. Could he be wrong?

    Just when I thought I was done with these horrid financial aid forms.. :(
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    These days college financial aid offices do see the 5 other schools on the same FAFSA as their college. According to all of the college aid talks I've attended at many highschools and colleges, the order or the school on the form makes no difference. Admissions does not see FAFSA, and, typically, fin aid only determines packages after the student is admitted.

    However, I remember something very vaguely about some state programs in some or maybe even just one state where it is important that you list that state school first. I cannot place it so I cannot give any more info than that. I would call the fin aid office of the state school in question and ask if any such situation exists and if you can change the order by correcting the FAFSA with the state school first and foremost. Do share the answer with us as I am curious about the circumstance.

    Though speaking in generalities about admissions offices, it is certainly possible that there are colleges where all of this information is scoured. If a director of admissions at a particular college wanted to get the info, it is possible for him to do so. Particularly with need aware schools and those trying hard to improve their yield. Still the results of financial aid given each year from any number of kids has at this point given most admission specialists the conclusion that order of school does not matter, nor does the fact that the schools can see 5 other entries.
  • LurkNessMonsterLurkNessMonster Registered User Posts: 2,015 Senior Member
    At a presentation at my daughter's high school, we were told to make sure that at least one in-state school (public or private, doesn't matter) appears as one of the first six schools on Fafsa, because this then generates the applications for different types of state aid.

    The person who said this is the financial aid officer at a local private college.

    In our case it seems to be true, because we did subsequently receive e-mails and snail mail about TAP awards and other state funding sources. (We're New Yorkers.)
  • bus52bus52 Registered User Posts: 215 Junior Member
    Thanks for the info on the schools seeing the names of the other colleges-it has been a few years since I've been on the administrative side reading the SAR.

    As far as the state schools and listing them as one of origial first six, the only thing I can think of is the timing issue. Maybe they are saying this because there is the lag time between submitting your first six schools and then waiting to submit the next group. If you didn't submit early, you may miss the trigger for state programs and their deadlines.
This discussion has been closed.