Applying to college was beyond tough. Just when you put all of the late-night essay writing and SATs cramming behind you, and just when you thought the hardest part was over, the financial aid process sneaks up on you! What no one tells you is that applying for financial aid is actually the hardest part of it all. Staying on top of things and prioritizing deadlines is necessary because financial aid is really important, but it can be really overwhelming. Here’s ten tips that’ll lead you towards a stress-free application for Boston University financial aid!
1. Don’t just make a mental note of the deadlines – write them down!
There are two big deadlines that you definitely can’t forget: February 1st for the FAFSA and CSS Profile and May 1st for your enrollment deposit and acceptance of your financial aid package. However, these forms aren’t the kind of thing you want to procrastinate or forget about, so plan ahead and write things down!
2. Take advantage of all of the BU financial aid resources.
3. There are tons of different documents and forms you need to pass in, so make sure you don’t forget one!
There’s a lot to do even to just be considered for financial aid, but it’s all worth it in the end, so make sure you stay on top of things and don’t forget about one! BU requires these forms in their financial aid application:
- FAFSA application (due February 1st, 2017)
- CSS Profile (due February 1st, 2017)
- Income Verification
- Noncustodial Parent Form (if applicable)
4. Understand the requirements and how to go about submitting each of those forms.
Everything is mostly online, so filling out these forms and submitting them isn’t too difficult. This page has a very detailed list of what to expect from the BU financial aid process as a freshman who applied regular decision. Just make sure you have the right information ready to go to make the process easier! You’re going to need your 2015 tax returns, your parents’ 2015 tax returns, and your parents’ income information on hand while you fill out these forms.
5. Your financial aid notification will take some time, so be patient.
If you applied for financial aid on time, you should expect to get a notification by late March. Make sure you accept your award by May 1st to reserve your offer!
6. You should get a notification e-mail from BU about your financial aid package.
BU will e-mail you when they finalize your financial aid package, which may be a combination of gift aid (like scholarships and grants) and federal aid!
7. Your enrollment deposit holds your spot in the class, so don’t forget to send that in!
BU’s enrollment fee is a non-refundable $650. Make sure you send it in by May 1st to reserve your spot in the incoming freshmen class!
8. What will a year cost me?
The cost-of-attendance for a BU student varies based on whether they choose to commute or live on campus. If you choose to commute, the total cost would be around $57,275/year. If you live on-campus, however, expect an increase to about $68,060/year, which is broken down like this:
- Tuition: $49,176
- Fees: $1,064
- Books/supplies: $1,000
- Room and board: $14,870
- Incidentals: $1,950
9. And what does BU usually offer in financial aid to help pay that?
BU calculates their financial aid based on need, so the amount of financial aid awarded is often dependent on income. Here‘s a page from their website that details how much to expect from scholarships and grants depending on your grades and your family’s income.
10. If something changes, you can appeal your aid and have your financial package reviewed.
Nothing is ever concrete, and sometimes an unexpected loss of income or an illness can affect a student’s financial standing. If you think this applies to you, you can easily begin the appeal process in order to get your financial aid package reviewed. This page on BU’s website details what circumstances apply and which ones don’t. Just be sure to send in your appeal form by April 15th!