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Financial Aid Tips

Assemble the Information and Construct a Plan

  • Researching Financial Aid can be overwhelming
  • With good organizational skills and an ACTION PLAN, it’s not impossible.
    • Contact a HSF representative for more help and tips

Talk to Financial Aid Officers

  • Contact ALL the schools you’ve chosen.
  • Talk to a Financial Aid Officer at each one, either on the phone or in person.
  • Write down the name and title of the person with whom  you speak (in case you need to call again)
  • Ask About
    • Deadlines
    • Loans vs. Scholarships
    • Whether there are any School-Specific Scholarships?
  • How  the school treats undocumented students?
    • Also Visit our DACA page for undocumented students

Resources to use

  • College Office or Career Center
  • Library
  • Online, for example
  • Mail a request to

Organize the Process

  • Keep detailed note cards
Name of Scholarship:
Phone Number:
Contact Person:
Scholarship Requirements:
Application Materials:
Contact Details:


Make Lists with deadlines and target dates or use a calendar. Get started early on planning!

  • Make Lists with deadlines and target dates or use a calendar. Get started early on planning!
  • Name of Scholarship
  • Scholarship Due Date
  • Target Date
  • Date You'll hear back

Tips for sending out applications

  • Have your Social Security number ready
  • Make copies of your application
  • Send a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) along with your application
  • Ask the post office to send  it certified mail, and keep the receipt

When You Receive Offers

  • Carefully read all letters and notices received from colleges and federal organizations.
  • Sign and return ALL forms, indicating whether you are accepting or rejecting the award.
  • You don’t have to accept the WHOLE student aid package. Decide what you REALLY need. Remember that your grants portion will not increase because you decline the loan portion, so choose carefully.
  • Be aware of the Federal Work Study (FWS) option.
  • Remember that your award may change if your financial situation changes. Keep the Financial Aid Office aware of any changes.

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