Applying for Financial Aid
All seniors who are considering attending college or a career school in the Fall of 2017 should begin filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on October 1, 2016. Learn more about the FAFSA ↓
Intended for current seniors with plans to enroll in a college or career school in the Fall of 2017.
Prior to October 1 of Senior Year
- Create your unique Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. This will be a student’s log-in for the duration of their application process.
- To start the FAFSA, gather all parental tax information from the previous tax year. For 2016 applications, students can use their parent’s 2015 tax information.
It’s recommended that all families visit the Federal Student Aid website and review the various resources on college preparation and financial aid. In addition, their YouTube channel has short videos on all aspects of the financial aid process.
Starting on October 1
- Start filling out the FAFSA. The sooner students fill out an application, the better. All student aid is on a first come, first serve basis.
- Set up a Maryland College Aid Process System (MDCAPS) account. This account will allow students to access a large database of state scholarship applications.
- Start a College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile through College Board. This allows students to apply for multiple, nonfederal financial aid from over 400 colleges and universities. Some schools may require tax information.
Federal Student Aid
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Students can begin filling out their FAFSA on October 1, 2016
The FAFSA is an application from the U.S. Department of Education that helps students obtain funding to attend either a college or career school. This free application will determine a student’s eligibility for more than $150 billion dollars in financial aid in the form of grants, work-study funds, and loans.
First time applying for Aid?
Already have an FSA ID?
Additional videos and resources on the FAFSA
- About the FAFSA application process
- Steps for recieving state and federal financial aid
- Financials and obligations: the potential aid available, how it may be used, and the obligations on those receiving aid.
- Dispelling Myths about Financial Aid
Nonfederal Student Aid
Maryland College Aid Process System (MDCAPS)
The Maryland College Aid Process System (MDCAPS) is a log-in portal managed by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) that provides students with a unified place to apply for scholarships. MDCAPS also allows students to accept or decline financial awards, monitor to see if the MHEC has received their FAFSA, and submit help requests directly to MHEC staff.
College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile
Students can begin filling out their CSS Profile on October 1, 2016
The College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile, maintained by CollegeBoard, is required by nearly 300 colleges, universities, professional schools, and scholarship program to apply for a wide variety of nonfederal student aid.