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FAFSA, Grants & Awards

When to Apply

You will first apply for financial assistance during your senior year in high school and continue to re-apply every year you are in college. Most Adventist colleges request your first financial application be submitted by March or April of your senior year in high school. Be sure to ask each school you are considering what their deadlines are.

The Application Process

January - February

  1. Complete your federal tax return (and have your parents complete their return) as early as you can. (If you are unable to complete your tax return in time to meet the financial application deadlines, estimate to the best of your ability. If you miss these deadlines, you will reduce your opportunity to obtain financial grants, loans and scholarships.)
  2. Complete the FAFSA and ask that the results be sent directly to the school(s) you are applying to. (You will be mailed an acknowledgement after completing the FAFSA. Verify that the information shown in the acknowledgement is accurate and submit any corrections immediately.)

March - July

  1. Colleges will notify you of their admission decisions and make financial award and scholarship offers.
  2. Celebrate your acceptances! Review your financial awards (making sure to check if the schools you are applying to require additional financial forms) and make a deposit to hold your place in the first-year class of the college of your choice.

Summer

  1. Complete necessary loan forms, if applicable.
  2. Begin making tuition payments.

Submitting the FAFSA

A key component of the financial application is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, available in your public library, in the school counselor's office, or online at www.fafsa.ed.gov . The FAFSA will determine if you qualify for any government grants or low-interest loans. Most schools will also use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for certain school grants and scholarships.

Much of the information requested on the FAFSA comes directly from your federal tax return. (Unless you are an independent student, which very few first-time college students qualify for, you will also be using one or both of your parent's tax information to complete the FAFSA.) So if at all possible, you should complete your tax return and encourage your parents to complete theirs before the financial application deadlines. If this isn't possible, you should estimate the data requested on the FAFSA in order to meet application deadlines.

When you complete the FAFSA you will need to enter the school code for schools you wish to have your information sent to. Here is a list of school codes for the Adventist colleges and universities.

School Name FAFSA Code
Adventist University of Health Sciences, Fla.031155
Andrews University, Mich.002238
Canadian University College, BC, CanadaG33354
Kettering College, Ohio007035
La Sierra University, Calif.001215
Loma Linda University, Calif.001218 (N/A for first-time college students.) 4
Oakwood University, Ala.001033
Pacific Union College, Calif.001258
Southern Adventist University, Tenn.003518
Southwestern Adventist University, Texas003619
Union College, Neb.002563
Walla Walla University, Wash.002067
Washington Adventist University, Md.003799

4 Students who attend Loma Linda University must complete prerequisites at another college before transferring. Students are encouraged to complete those prerequisites at an Adventist college or university.

What Do Packages Include?

After you apply for financial grants, loans and scholarships, colleges calculate your financial package using a predetermined formula to evaluate your family's financial situation. The basic financial package starts with awards based solely on need. Some colleges also give merit-based awards that recognize student achievement and are not dependent on financial need.

Financial award packages may include the following:

  • Grants based on demonstrated financial need, such as the Federal Pell Grant
  • Scholarships based on "merit," as determined by such variables as: standardized test scores; general academic achievement; or exceptional accomplishment in a particular area, such as music, drama, sports, mathematics or science. (These differ among individual colleges.)
  • Federally subsidized, low-interest loans, such as the Stafford and Perkins loans. These loans are repayable by the student, with interest and repayment deferred as long as he or she is in school at least half-time. Loans for parents are also available from banks and other private sources.
  • Work-study – the opportunity to take a part-time, on-campus job for a certain number of hours per week. College jobs recognize students' academic priorities and offer flexible schedules at exam time. Many also offer valuable experience in the student's area of academic/career interest.

Ask for more information about financial award packages from each school you are considering.