A week ago I wrote about the deadline I was facing. See Deadlines for Parents of HS Seniors, or I can just tell you: for Early Decision and Early Action applicants, the College Board CSS Profile financial aid application is due… today.
Let’s make that more complicated, shall we? For some ED and EA applicants the Profile is due today, for some it’s due November 15th. And for others, even with an Early Action application, it’s due March 1st. Take a look at three Virginia state schools.
Students applying to the College of William & Mary, Early Decision, will see this:
The College of William and Mary uses the CSS Profile for Early Decision Financial Aid Estimates. Our school code is 5115. Select “Fall 2012/Spring 2013″. Please set aside a considerable amount of time for collecting and organizing your financial information and completing the Profile. You will need your actual 2010 information and your estimated 2011 and 2012 information. While completing the Profile, DO NOT USE your browser’s back button. The CSS Profile MUST be completed by November 15.
Students applying to the University of Virginia, Early Action, will see this:
Admission to the University is need-blind. If you will be applying for Financial Aid, you must provide your Social Security number on your application. The priority deadline for submitting financial aid documents is March 1st. This is not a binding deadline, but one that guarantees that you will have your financial aid information soon after you receive your admission decision.
You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the CSS Profile, and submit supporting documentation.
Students applying to the University of Mary Washington, Early Action, will see this:
The Office of Financial Aid at the University of Mary Washington coordinates more than 300 different scholarship and grant programs that include general scholarships and scholarships for specific majors*. A majority of the funds awarded through the Office of Financial Aid are need based and require valid results from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in addition to the General Scholarship Application (available below). The FAFSA preferred filing date is March 1 for freshmen and transfer students and March 15 for active UMW students.
That last paragraph is tricky. It looks like UMW doesn’t require the Profile, just the FAFSA (which becomes available around January 1, 2012). However, UMW (with a Nov. 15th EA deadline) still lists application dates for students entering school in 2011-12, so it would pay to keep checking their website.
Like most other details in applying to college, none of this would be all that complicated if a student applied to one. However, the combination of the ease of the Common App with the colleges’ desire for more applicants (raising the selectivity rating and the ranking of the school), has led to most students applying to at least half a dozen colleges, if not a full dozen.
Hence: the complexity of figuring out the fine details (of every aspect) on each (very different) college site.
Hmm, I’m thinking this post has the tone of a grump. What do you think? Could it be that I am still disgruntled after having to pore over our 2010 tax returns, estimate our 2011 returns, and take a wild guess about our 2012 income? As W&M said above, “Please set aside a considerable amount of time for collecting and organizing your financial information and completing the Profile.” Right.
At least, unlike some of our friends in the Northeast, I had electricity to get it done. More about the process of completing the Profile to come.
Postscript: I wrote this late on Halloween night. Just before going to bed, Mod Squad Pete (who had heard me kvetch just a little bit) asked how it was going. I told him the app was done, but I was waiting until tomorrow to submit, just in case something about it woke me in the night. His response: “Well, ok. Thank you.” I’m not so grumpy now.
- Comment on possible updates to financial aid forms (jennstrathman.com)
- High School Seniors..your path to college! (jamienievesblogs.wordpress.com)