Tips To Help Your Financial Aid Process
- Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute – When it comes to obtaining funds to help pay for your schooling, it takes time. The amount of time it can take varies greatly from person to person and even from year to year. Complete applications (FAFSA, scholarships, etc.) as soon as you can. Some documentation that is required may require substantial time on your part to acquire. Starting the process early will give you more time to complete all steps of the process. If receiving your student aid at the earliest possible time is important to you, give the application process the same high level of importance.
- Open And Read All Mailings – The Financial Aid Office does not send mail unless it is necessary. If you receive mail from the Financial Aid Office you should open, read and return all requested documents and documentation as quickly as you can. If you misplace your list of items needed you can also view the Document Tracking located on your “My Financial Aid” page of STInet.
- Read All Information Carefully – Every effort is made to provide clear information and instructions that will help to make the process as smooth as possible. Take your time to read all information before filling out forms or requesting documentation from other agencies to prevent avoidable mistakes and the resulting delays in processing. Information regarding the needed documents is also located on the Glossary of Document Tracking Terms.
- Don’t Guess When Answering Questions – Whether on the FAFSA or on STI Documents, be sure the answers you provide are accurate. Information provided on Verification Worksheets that does not match information provided on the FAFSA (conflicting information) must be resolved with appropriate documentation before awarding can be done. If you guess or round your answers while filling out the FAFSA it may very well cause delays later on.
- Fill Out All Forms Completely – All questions asked on a form are asked for a reason. If the response to a question is left blank we can’t assume that you meant to leave it blank. Signatures and dates are critical parts of official documents that quite often get overlooked. Also, be sure to check the back side of a page to see if there are more questions that need to be completed. A form will be returned for completion until all questions have been answered.
- Use A Pen – When completing Financial Aid forms, be sure to use a pen. To ensure the integrity of the information provided, it must be provided in a manner which can’t be altered. Information provided in pencil cannot be accepted.
- Use STI’s Resources: Using the Financial Aid web page and STInet – Many of the questions a student might have regarding the status of their financial aid can be answered by using the “My Financial Aid” page or the “My Student Account” page on STInet. The Frequently Asked Questions page and Glossary of Document Tracking Terms may also help you avoid standing in a line.
- Check Your STI Email Account Every Day – Some communication sent by the Financial Aid Office will go via US mail to your home address. However, a significant amount of communication will also be done via email to your STI email address. Your professors, advisors and other STI personnel also do large amounts of communication via your STI email address. Failure to check your email on a regular basis can at times be very detrimental to your education at STI.
- Know Your STI Student ID Number – When calling or visiting the Financial Aid Office (and most STI offices for that matter), you will be asked to provide your STI ID number. By having your number memorized or having your STI card readily available you can speed the process for you and for others who may be waiting.