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I Applied (or plan to) - What happens now?


If you need help paying for college, you should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as the FAFSA. The FAFSA opened on Oct. 1, and filing it is the first step in getting grants, work study, loans or scholarships. Once you file, the U.S. Department of Education will send a Student Aid Report (SAR), which summarizes your eligibility information to the colleges specified on your FAFSA. From there, the colleges and universities will determine how much aid they can offer you.

  • File your FAFSA if you have not done so. Make sure you understand the aid deadlines.
  • Attend College Goal Sunday Nov 12 to receive assistance with your FAFSA.
  • Make necessary corrections to your FAFSA.
  • Add additional schools if needed.
  • View your SAR. You will receive instructions via email on how to view an online copy, usually within a couple of weeks of filing your FAFSA. You can also look it up using your FSA ID.
  • Contact the financial aid office at your college to confirm they received your FAFSA.money mortar


Scholarships help bridge the gap, and you can find one for just about anything (duct tape creations, zombie costumes - you name it!). The key is identifying opportunities that match your interests and qualifications and sticking to the submission deadlines.

With more than three million opportunties, our Scholarship Finder database can help you score some extra cash for school. Follow these simple steps:

  • Build your personal profile.
  • Find scholarships that match your skills, interests and qualifications.
  • Save and apply to the scholarships you selected.
  • Sign up for newly listed scholarship e-mail alerts.


Over the next several months, colleges will notify you of your admission status. Some will give you a decision soon after receiving your application; others may take longer. You may have to wait several months before you receive the decision in the mail, so don't panic!

After you've applied...

  • Continue to apply to colleges you wish to attend.
  • Check in with the admissions offfice to make sure your application is complete.
  • As you receive positive admissions decisions from each college
    • Review and compare the college's cost to the financial aid award letter they sent you.
    • Use the SLOPE Calculator to compare monthly loan payments to expected career salary.
  • Decide which school you will attend.
  • Be sure to read the information your college sends and mark your calendar with important dates. You don't want to miss the decision deadline!


Most community colleges, two-year and occupational/technical schools have open admissions. If you are a high school graduate, typically you will automatically be admitted into these institutions.

  • What careers are you interested in? What skills do you hope to gain? Knowing that will help you pick the best college and program.
  • Do you intend to continue your education at a four-year college? Make sure the credits you receive from your school program will transfer to (the credits will be accepted at) the four-year school of your choice.
  • Some colleges will give you credit for prior learning from earlier work experiences.
  • You may have to take a basic skills assessment, such as the ACCUPLACER, to help you and the college determine the best classes to take.
  • Before you decide, make sure you understand the costs of the program and the value of the certificate or degree you will receive.


The U.S. Armed Forces provide educational opportunities for high school graduates, aged 18 to 35, with varying durations of active duty commitments. The job skills training offered in the military are not as readily available elsewhere, and often translate well to civilian jobs. Sometimes this training is even recognized for college credit. To officially join the military, you will have to:

  • Decide when and for which branch you wish to serve.
  • Take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test.
  • Get a physical exam.
  • Determine/verify your career choice and sign the enlistment contract.
  • Take an enlistment oath.
  • Consider officer training or a four-year college degree to become an officer.


Remember to take some time and celebrate your accomplishments. Applying to college or the military is a lot of work, but it's one of the best investments you can make in your future. Stay on top of your scholarship applications, decision deadlines and FAFSA filings to ensure you make the most of your opportunities!