To be considered for any need-based aid from the federal government, state government or Alma College, you must file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
PREPARE (October - February)
1. Create and FSA ID
- The student and parent(s) must each have their own. These will serve as your log on information and your electronic signature. Create your FSA ID online at http://www.fsaid.ed.gov. See the facts about the FSA ID.
2. To complete the FAFSA, gather the following information for student and parent(s).
- Use this helpful list of information to gather.
FILE (October 1 - March 1)
Alma College’s School Code is 002236
- Students can begin completing the FAFSA: October 1
- Priority deadline for Michigan students: March 1
- If you file later than June, you may not be eligible for a state award.
Common errors made when completing the FAFSA:
Name and Social Security Number
Enter your name and Social Security Number exactly as they appear on your Social Security Card.
Degree or certificate
Unless you will be a graduate student, a professional student, or working towards a second bachelor’s degree when you enter Alma, indicate 1 (1st bachelor’s degree).
First bachelor’s degree before July 1, of your incoming year?
If you will not have a four-year college degree when you enter Alma, indicate No.
The definition of legal guardianship does not include your parents, even if they were appointed by a court to be your guardians. You are also not considered a legal guardian of yourself. By answering “Yes” it means you can provide a copy of the court’s decision giving you this legal status.
Read, and sign with your FSA ID
Make sure FAFSA is signed with student FSA ID. If parent information is required on your FAFSA, a parent FSA ID is also required.
READY, SET, FILE!
- Complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov.
- FAFSA Help Desk: 1-800-433-3243
VERIFICATION (February - March)
- In some cases you may need to go through a verification process, in which you send us a tax return transcript, W-2 forms and other required documents.
- If additional information is needed, our office will start notifying students in February/March.
- Visit our Verification page for more details on completing the process.
AWARD LETTER TIMELINE
Incoming Freshmen for 2017 - 2018:
- Estimated financial aid award letters will be issued as early as mid-late December.
- Final award letters will be issued starting in March.
- If you would like an earlier estimate, please use our Net Price Calculator.
Returning Students for 2017 - 2018:
- Final grades for the current year are needed before eligibility for financial aid can be determined.
- Financial aid letters will be issued during the normal time frame of May - June.
- Award letters will be available on the student portal after receiving the email notification.
FOLLOW-UP (May - July)
Review the Financial Aid Letter:
- When your financial aid letter arrives, you will see all your scholarships and awards listed, along with any additional need-based aid for which you qualify.
Complete all requirements to receive the aid that is being offered:
- Finish verification if you have not already done so.
- Aid is estimated until all requirements have been completed.
- Complete loan requirements.
- Instructions will be given with the award letter notice.
Report any outside scholarships you have received:
- Turn in scholarship checks that are made out to both the student and the college.
- Report scholarships that are made out to the student only.
- May also endorse them to the college and turn them in to have them applied directly to the student account.
Make plans to pay:
- Determine if you will need to use a Parent PLUS loan, alternative loan, or payment plans to pay out of pocket costs.
Review the billing statement:
- Billing statements are available on the student portal after receiving the email notification.
- Fall billing statements are issued at the end of July with payment due at the end of August.
- Winter billing statements are issued at the end of November with payment due in January.