Financial Aid Deadlines: Keep Track with this Resource

Posted by Texas OnCourse on Jan 18, 2018 2:01:00 PM

Each year, once the FAFSA  opens on October 1st, students may be wondering what their next steps should be. One of the most important things for them to know: the Texas priority deadline for FAFSA submission is January 15th. While institutions may set their own independent priority deadlines, state and federal financial aid is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Your students should aim to complete their FAFSA on or before January 15th!

Below, we cover some additional financial aid milestones and deadlines to share with students.

Of course, the FAFSA is not the only financial aid application. Texas students who do not qualify for federal financial aid should complete the TASFA (Texas Application for State Federal Aid), which is on the same timeline as the FAFSA. Every eligible student who is planning to attend a postsecondary institution – be that a trade school, community college, or four-year university – should complete the FAFSA or the TASFA.

Students can also fill out the CSS Profile, an online financial aid application that certain colleges and scholarship programs use to award institutional financial aid funds. Like the FAFSA and the TASFA, students can fill out this application as early as October 1st of each year. They should file at least two weeks before the first priority filing date established by their colleges or programs.  

Here is a helpful financial aid timeline to share with your students:

Junior year – September of senior year

  • Identify financial safety schools
  • Register for FSA ID (parents and guardians too!)

October – November of senior year

  • Submit FAFSA (available October 1st)
  • Submit CSS Profile (if applicable)

December – February of senior year

  • Review Student Aid Report (SAR) and address any issues
  • Submit verification and institutional forms

March – May of senior year

  • Analyze and compare financial aid award letters
  • Pay tuition deposit

Of course, you should also encourage your students to research and apply for scholarships throughout this entire timeline.

Sharing this timeline can help set expectations early. You can download this helpful timeline in the handout below (PDF available for download). Print it out to keep students posted on where they should be at every step in the process.

Example Financial Aid Timeline


Topics: Financial Aid, Downloadable Resource