Financial aid timeline for high school seniors
Many college-bound students and parents ask us what they should be doing throughout the year to get ready for applying for college and financial aid.
This handy timeline below from The College Board shows exactly what steps students and families should be taking from the summer before senior year to May 1 of senior year, the deadline for students to decide whether to attend most colleges.
Important financial aid deadlines
Be sure to keep these important dates in mind as you begin applying for college and financial aid:
- October 1: CSS profile becomes available (used to help determine financial aid eligibility at some private colleges)
- January 1: FAFSA becomes available
- February 1: File taxes as close to Feb. 1 as possible to use income data in FAFSA; submit FAFSA soon after
- Mid-February: Deadline to submit FAFSA and financial aid forms to many colleges
- April 1: Most college decisions and financial aid packages mailed
- May 1: Decision deadline for most colleges
Following this timeline and noting these important dates will help give your family the best chance of getting the most financial aid possible to help pay for college.
Help applying for financial aid
We help college-bound students and families make the best college decision possible–financially and otherwise.