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Mistakes to avoid when completing your Financial Aid

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The financial aid process can be confusing and stressful sometimes. It’s like taxes: necessary, but painful. We know that as nursing students, you have enough stress in your lives already, so here are some hints about what NOT to do, to help you through financial aid.

Not completing the FAFSA  

“It’s important that you get that done in a timely manner, and don’t put that off,” said Jennifer Morris, our Financial Aid Manager. Recently, the FAFSA process has been simplified by allowing you to use your previous year’s tax information to complete it. For example, for this upcoming school year, 2018-2019, you would use your tax information from 2016.

Getting your FAFSA done in a timely manner is also important. FAFSA is usually available to complete in the fall, a year before the year you are applying for aid, and applying for it as soon as possible is a good idea. The earlier the better, but as a guideline, you should complete your FAFSA no later than early spring before the award year. For example, for the 2018-2019 school year, FAFSA was available to complete in October of 2017, but the latest you should probably apply for it is about March of 2018. Applying for the aid early allows time for correction and review.

Not completing the FAFSA correctly

Filling out your FAFSA, especially for the first time, can be overwhelming. Sometimes the fields can be complicated, and you’re not really sure what you should put in. One helpful tip is that when you hover over a field with your cursor, a ‘helps and hints’ box appears on the side, explaining what they are asking for. Pay close attention to those hints!

Filling out the FAFSA incorrectly may lead to too much or too little aid, which can both be a problem. But our Financial Aid Department is always willing to help. If you haven’t ever filled out a FAFSA before, or you’re confused about how to fill it out, they can help you over the phone or meet over skype to walk you through each field. Simply schedule an appointment with a Financial Aid Advisor and they will talk you through it, comb your hair, and bring you a warm glass of milk (not really, but you get the idea).

Not completing financial aid documents

For those just getting back to school,  it can be even more confusing. Financial aid documents, releases, disclosures, and receipts galore. The Financial Aid team works very hard to make it as easy as possible for our learners to complete all these forms. It is important for learners to electronically sign all the documents from the Financial Aid team, and to get the documents back on time so we can meet not only our deadlines but your deadlines as well.

Ignoring emails from the financial aid team

We know this sounds like a no-brainer, but with the amount of learners who are ignoring our emails, we really have no choice to include it (we will find you, email ignorers). Many learners think that the emails are for all the learners, and doesn’t apply to them specifically. They know that they have turned in their documents so they ignore the messages. Very bad idea! We’ll say this one time: you won’t be getting any emails from financial aid if your financial aid is ready to go.

Not applying for scholarships

Scholarships also seem like a no-brainer. If you can get some help with tuition costs, why not look into it? Don’t miss this opportunity to get some needed help. There are scholarships for minorities, women, men, undergrads, married people, people with kids, people in the sciences (all of you), and many, many more. Visit our financial aid page for a full list of scholarships and resources.

We hope that Nightingale College learners will know that although it’s stressful, we are doing our best. We are here for you. If you have any questions about financial aid, the financial aid department would be happy to speak with you over email or by phone, simply email or call 801-689-2160.

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