How Important is the Priority Deadline for Financial Aid?

Financial Aid, Saving Money

You may notice that some colleges give a “Priority Deadline” for applicants applying for financial aid. Most colleges set their Priority Deadline to correspond with the admissions deadline, which can be as early as November! If a student is applying Early Action or Early Decision, this means they may also need to have all financial aid forms submitted by November! This can be a lot of information to collect. So, how important is it that you file before the priority date?

Answer: VERY important, at least if you like free money.

It’s important to remember that colleges have a limited amount of financial aid money to give out. Each year, they face the task of deciding how much of their money to offer to which applicants. These decisions are typically 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!