This office works with the federal government to administer your financial aid package. It is imperative that you follow their deadlines to be eligible for the maximum amount you need to attend school. Also, since this office has to work with the government, they are often unable to make decisions “on the spot.” Instead paperwork often has to clear both this office and the United States Department of Education. Be sure to read all correspondence from this office as they may require extra documentation from you before they will award you a package. To qualify for financial aid all students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which is a government form that is then sent to the colleges you indicate. Also, note that some schools have their own financial aid forms that you must fill out as well.
Each school has their own method for determining who wins scholarships. Sometimes you will need to fill out a scholarship application when you apply, and other times decisions are solely based on your FAFSA. Read the application for the schools you are applying to carefully to determine how scholarships are given. If you still are unclear be sure to contact the admissions office. Keep in mind that most scholarship money is given to students who apply by the priority deadline (usually in December) so it does not pay to wait until the last minute to put together your application packet. Also note that most public institutions will provide more funds for the residents of their state than funds for those from other states. Attending college out-0f-state is not impossible, but being an in-state student may have the most financial benefits.