Financial Aid for College - LCHS North
As you complete your final year of High School and prepare for college, click here to help maximize your opportunities for State of Michigan aid programs.
Completing and submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the single most important action you can take to get money for college.
The FAFSA is used by schools to put together your financial aid package, including grants, work-study, federal student loans, and even state and school financial aid.
Visit getfafsahelp.org to sign up early for Wyatt℠, a free FAFSA assistance chatbot that answers their questions by text.
New FAFSA Submission Date
If you’re applying for financial aid for academic year 2020-21, you can now submit your FAFSA starting October 1, 2020, using your 2019 income tax return.
- Be sure to submit the FAFSA every year you’re in college.
- Aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so know your deadlines and apply as early as you can to maximize your financial aid.
- StudentAid.gov - For the most current information on this and other changes.
How to complete the FAFSA
These three simple steps can make the process faster and easier.
Step 1: Gather all the information you’ll need, including:
- Your drivers’ license and Social Security number
- Your parents’ Social Security numbers and birthdates
- Your family’s latest federal income tax returns
- W-2 forms
- Bank statements
- Information on your family’s investments
Step 2: Bookmark www.FAFSA.gov
Don’t fall for scams. The only site you should use to fill out and submit your application is FAFSA.gov.
- There’s no charge for submitting the FAFSA.
- This is where you get your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID; the user name and password give you access to the site.
- The site also has the most up-to-date information on upcoming changes.
Step 3: Submit your FAFSA
- The easiest and fastest way is to file online with your FSA ID. Your application will be processed within 3-5 days.
- You can mail in a paper application, but the processing time will take about 7-10 days.
The MI Student Aid Video Library provides a convenient way for students, high school counselors, financial aid professionals and more to learn about the programs and resources we have to offer. These videos are updated annually to reflect new content and program information. You can find these videos on the Michigan.gov website
Below are some frequently asked questions about the financial aid application process. If your question is not answered below, view information about the FAFSA from the Federal Department of Education.
Do I still have to complete a FAFSA every year?
Yes, every student should complete a FAFSA every year beginning October 1, for the next school year they plan to attend.
Why should I apply so early?
Some financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so the earlier you apply, the bigger and better your financial aid package could be.
How will an earlier FAFSA and the change to the income year benefit me?
- Students (and their parents, if applicable) will not need to estimate income information and will not need to update their income information as in the past since the FAFSA now only requires taxes already filed.
- There will be more time for students to explore and understand financial aid options and apply for private scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students.
- Applying early means getting your award notification earlier. Students who file October 1 or shortly thereafter, can expect to begin receiving award notifications in December.
- Students will be more prepared for the payment due date.
- Receiving an award notification earlier encourages students to complete their financial aid requirements earlier.
How will I complete the FAFSA in October if I don’t file taxes until the following April?
Beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA, students (and parents, if applicable) have been able to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For the 2019-2020 FAFSA, applicants will report their 2017 income and tax information. For the 2020-2021 FAFSA, applicants will report their 2018 income and tax information, and so on.
Different Types of Financial Aid
The federal government provides grants for students attending college or career school. Most types of grants, unlike loans, are sources of free money that generally do not have to be repaid.
Grants can come from the federal government, your state government, your college or career school, or a private organization. Do your research, apply for any grants you might be eligible for, and be sure to meet application deadlines!
Certain scenarios may require that a portion or all of the grant funds be repaid: for example, if you withdraw from school before finishing an enrollment period such as a semester, or if you receive a TEACH Grant and do not complete your service obligation.
Scholarships are gifts. They don't need to be repaid. There are thousands of them, offered by schools, employers, individuals, private companies, nonprofits, communities, religious groups, and professional and social organizations.
You can learn about scholarships in several ways, including contacting the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend and checking information in a public library or online. But be careful. Make sure scholarship information and offers you receive are legitimate; and remember that you don't have to pay to find scholarships or other financial aid.
For more information please check out the scholarship tab on the counseling office webpage.
If you have any questions about scholarships you may be eligible for, make an appointment with your counselor.
Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study. If you work on campus, you’ll usually work for your school. If you work off campus, your employer will usually be a private nonprofit organization or a public agency, and the work performed must be in the public interest.
If you apply for financial aid, you may be offered loans as part of your school’s financial aid offer. A loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest.
If you decide to take out a loan, make sure you understand who is making the loan and the terms and conditions of the loan. Student loans can come from the federal government, from private sources such as a bank or financial institution, or from other organizations. Loans made by the federal government, called federal student loans, usually have more benefits than loans from banks or other private sources. Learn more about the differences between federal and private student loans.
Financial Aid Myths Busted
Think you won’t qualify for federal financial aid? Think again. It’s available to students and families across all income levels.
Myth: My family’s income is too high to qualify for financial aid.
Student and family income isn’t the only factor that the government uses to decide if a student qualifies for a federal student loan. The only way to know for sure is to fill out the FAFSA.
Myth: My family has money saved for college so we won't get any aid.
Student and family savings may not be a major factor when a school decides if a student qualifies for Unsubsidized federal student loans. There are allowances for savings and assets. Your family isn’t expected to sacrifice home equity or retirement savings to pay for a student’s education.
Myth: My sister/brother wasn't eligible for much financial aid last year, so I won’t be eligible when I enter college.
On the contrary, the number of family members in college may have a favorable impact on your financial aid eligibility.
Myth: I’m only attending college part-time, so I won't be eligible for financial aid.
Financial aid is available for part-time students. Talk to the financial aid offices of the colleges you’re interested in attending about aid for part-time students.
Now that you know what the FAFSA is, and how vital it is to getting financial aid, you need to be aware of application deadlines and how to apply for it.