Folder Checklist

Every college has its own set of steps to qualifying for financial aid, its own forms, and its own timetable. Download these forms and attach them to file folders to help you stay organized and hit your deadlines.

Create one folder for each application, including the FAFSA, CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, college financial aid applications and scholarship applications.

Attach a copy of this folder checklist to the front of each folder. Note key application requirements and deadline dates on the checklist. Don't forget to include deadlines for supporting documentation, such as letters of recommendation. Note the date you requested the any materials and supporting documentation as well. When each item is complete, check it off and mark the completion date on the checklist.

It is also helpful to highlight any items you expect will be problematic, time consuming or in need of extra attention.

When a folder is complete, write the word "DONE" in big block letters on the upper right hand corner of the checklist along with the date the folder was complete.

Also keep a master list with one line per folder. Note the major deadlines for each application and the date the folder was complete. This will give you an at-a-glance summary of the status of your applications. Ideally the applications should be listed in order of deadline. Since you may add applications at a later date, allocate at least five lines per month, leaving extra space for late additions.

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