Financial Aid Checklist & Timeline

Financial Aid Planning Checklist

Financial Aid Checklist
Apply for Admission.
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). An online application is available at You must complete a FAFSA to be considered for need-based aid (including
federal student loans). On the FAFSA, indicate Carroll College's Federal School Code 002526 so we can receive the Student Aid Report.
Respond to any requests from the college for additional information.
After you have been accepted and Carroll receives your Student Aid Report you will receive your financial aid award notification.
Respond to the college's financial aid offer.
If you have accepted a student loan(s), complete and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN), per the college's instructions.
If your parent plans to do a parent loan, they must complete and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) per the college's instructions.
Submit your enrollment reservation deposit to the Carroll Office of Admission.
Register for classes.
Respond to the Carroll Business Office when you receive your semester billing statement and arrange for final payment.

Financial Aid Planning Timeline

Average Merit Scholarship Range is $12,000 to $19,000


  • Review your career plans and decide which schools are right for you.
  • Request catalogs and admission information.
  • Inquire about fall visit programs for prospective students.
  • Ask your guidance office about tests for which you will need to register (ACT, SAT). These scores must be sent to the colleges where you are applying.


  • Register to take tests (ACT, SAT) required for admission.
  • Set up a time to meet with your high school guidance counselor. Your counselor is a great resource to help with your preparation and planning efforts.
  • Meet with Admission Representatives who are visiting your school. Start to contact college admission offices of schools that interest you.
  • Begin to research private scholarship opportunities sponsored by your school, community and civic organizations.
  • Start running scholarship search via the Internet. Check useful free resources over the Internet, such as:
  • Check tips for avoiding scholarship scams
  • Check the legitimacy of a scholarship search organization or individual through the Better Business Bureau

October and November

  • Attend College fairs and financial aid information nights to gather information on schools and student aid.
  • Work on admission and scholarship application essays.
  • Take the SAT or ACT.
  • Arrange campus visits for your school choices.
  • Begin submitting your college admission applications.
  • Choose those teachers or guidance counselors who can share insight as to your ability to thrive and succeed when selecting who will write your letters of recommendation. Be considerate to give them plenty of time prepare your letter. Sharing a resume / list of activities you have been involved in during high school will assist them as they write your letter.
  • Narrow the selection to your top college choices, then request financial aid information from these schools.
  • Apply for outside funding or scholarships.
  • Both parents and students must obtain an FSA User ID which may be through the Federal Student Aid website. The FSA User ID serves as your signatures when you apply for the FAFSA online.
  • Complete the FAFSA and submit as soon after October 1st as possible.
  • Make and keep copies of all forms you submit.


  • Check with each school's financial aid office regarding deadlines.
  • Be sure your applications for admission are mailed to your top schools.
  • Continue to search and apply for private scholarships.


  • Continue to search and apply for private scholarships.
  • Watch the mail for college Financial Aid Award Letters.

February and March

  • Promptly respond to any requests from college admission or financial aid offices.
  • Check to see if your mid-year transcripts have been sent to the schools to which you have applied.
  • Start looking for a summer job. You will need the money!

April and May

  • Watch the mail. Compare the financial aid offers you receive.
  • Look for summer orientation information.
  • Make your final decision and send in the admission deposit by the deadline.
  • Financial aid award letters must be accepted by the deadline.
  • Notify the schools you will not be attending.
  • Finalize summer job plans.

June, July and August

  • Complete the necessary promissory note for any loans you have been offered and wish to accept. Before you sign the promissory note, make sure you read and understand all of your rights and responsibilities. Entrance counseling for Federal DirectStafford loans may be completedelectronically via the website.
  • Verify that your final high school transcript has been sent.
  • Complete any needed financial aid information you received from your college.
  • Finalize your budget for the year.
  • If you have been awarded Federal Work-Study assistance, find out which FWS positions are available.
  • Notify the financial aid office of any outside scholarship, grant or other types of student aid you have received or will receive.
  • Time to start packing for college!