You may notice that some colleges give a “Priority Deadline” for applicants applying for financial aid. Most colleges put their Priority Deadline in January or February, but occasionally they will fall later. How important is it that you file before this date?
Answer: VERY important, at least if you like free money.
It’s important to remember that colleges have a limited amount of money to give out. Each year, they face the task of deciding how much of their money to offer to which applicants, usually based on each applicant’s need and academic merit. Most financial aid offices wait until after the Priority Deadline passes – then, they process all the applications that were received by this date, making financial aid offers to everyone who made the deadline. Then, IF there is any money left over, they move to the students who submitted their financial aid application after the Priority Deadline.
So in other words, you can still apply for financial aid after the Priority Deadline, but your chances of being awarded aid will probably decrease drastically. So get your FAFSA and Profile in ON TIME!