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Scholarship & Financial Aid Information

The process of applying for financial aid is closely tied to the admission process, although decisions about financial aid are not necessarily tied to admission. Most colleges profess that applying for aid does not affect the admission process at all.

Nonetheless, students who apply for aid must do so at the same time as they apply for admission, not after being admitted. Early decision or early action applications will have early financial aid application deadlines, as well. Be sure to check each college's website for the details.

Applying for aid can be a three-pronged process, depending on what kinds of forms the schools to which you are applying require.

  • First, almost all schools will require parents to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available online. The FAFSA is sent to a central processor that will apply a federal needs analysis methodology to the application and forward the results to all indicated schools. More about the FAFSA.
  • FAFSA uses Prior-Prior Year (PPY) tax information, which means that when you apply for financial aid for the 2023-2024 school year, you'll use tax information from the 2021 taxes (filed April 2022). This also means that you may begin completing the FAFSA with official information earlier than in the past. You may begin the application on October 1, 2022. 
  • Second, for some schools, the federal methodology is not sufficient. These schools use an additional methodology, called the institutional methodology, and require applicants to complete the CSS Profile form, also available online. The Profile form works similarly to the FAFSA, in that families complete one form, which is sent to an evaluator (in this case, the College Scholarship Service). CSS then forwards it to all the schools the applicant lists on the form. Profile will also use Prior-Prior year information. More about the Profile form.
  • Third, a college may also require its own aid application to be filed with the college's application for admission.

Smart Track College Funding Program

The Ramaz College Guidance Office is pleased to announce that we now provide access to a free new resource for our 9th-12th grade students and families called the Smart TrackTM College Funding Program!

Figuring out how best to pay for college can be confusing and stressful. That is why we are supplying this online system with the tools and resources to educate you on navigating the college funding process and finding opportunities to save on college costs.

The sooner you begin preparing for how your family will cover college costs, the more savings opportunities you will have available. Click here to learn more and create your own free Smart Track™ account to start utilizing these helpful tools.

How your Smart Track™ account can help you plan for college expenses:

Free Assessment: All families with The Ramaz School receive a FREE 15-minute evaluation with a professional college funding Smart Track™ Coach. This is a great opportunity for you to get answers to your specific questions and strategize about how best to pay your share and maximize eligibility for merit & need based aid.

Quick College Cost Estimation Tool: Begin planning your college fund by knowing the minimum amount you will be expected to pay for college (your EFCs) based on your unique finances and whether and how you can reduce them.

Customized College Strategy Report: Designed to assist you in uncovering opportunities to lower your college costs, identify the most generous colleges on your list, and determine your student's estimated aid package.

Live & On-Demand Workshops: Learn educational strategies for navigating, accessing, and maximizing your college funding and financial aid.

Monthly Email Tips & Tools: Receive strategic and step-by-step college planning guidance when specific topics and tools are most relevant to you, and stay organized throughout the process with a customizable eCalendar.

Awards Analysis tool: Make sure you are receiving all the financial aid you are entitled to. This powerful tool will assess whether or not the college did a good job meeting your demonstrated need and, if not, what you can do about it! To start using these helpful tools, click here to register for your free account.