Tip of the Month: Let’s Talk Financial Aid

As you prepare to submit your admission applications, don’t forget to apply for financial aid!

Need-Based Aid

Forms to Complete

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used by U. S. colleges and universities to determine your eligibility for federal student financial aid. The FAFSA became available this year on October 1st. You and your parent(s) who filed a 2020 tax return can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to view and transfer your tax return information directly into the FAFSA.
  • Nearly 300 colleges, universities, and organizations require students interested in receiving institutional need-based grants to submit the online CSS Profile.  The CSS Profile also became available on October 1st. Check with each college to which you are applying to find out if it is a requirement for that school.
  • Your state of residence may require an additional financial aid application from you in order to be considered for state grants. For California residents, both the FAFSA and a Cal Grant GPA Verification Form must be submitted by March 2nd.
  • Outside scholarship organizations often require students to submit applications.  While the application forms and deadlines vary from one organization to another, it is advisable to begin the process during fall semester of your senior year. You can start your search using these two free online search services: Fastweb/Financial Aid Search Through the Web and College Board Scholarship Search
  • The schools you are applying to may require you to submit signed copies of your and your parents’ prior year tax return. Follow the specific financial aid application instructions for each of the colleges and universities that you are applying to.

Pay Attention to Deadlines

  • Submit your financial aid applications on time! Keep track of the financial aid deadlines for each college and university that you are applying to and the dates when you actually submitted your financial aid applications. Harvey Mudd applicants can consult our Early Decision 1 Financial Aid Deadlines, Early Decision 2 Financial Aid Deadlines, and Regular Decision Financial Aid Deadlines.
  • Keep copies of the forms and documents you submit. I recommend creating a folder titled “Financial Aid Documents” in your personal Google Docs account or on a personal computer.
  • Note that most schools require you to reapply each year by published deadlines to be given full consideration for need-based financial aid.
  • During the financial aid application process, you may receive requests for additional information from any of the colleges or universities you apply to. Submit this information as soon as it is available!

Other Resources

More information about financial aid can be found at:

Merit Aid

Check to see if the colleges and universities you are applying to offer merit scholarships. To be considered for these scholarships, there may be additional applications that you must submit by published deadlines.

Harvey Mudd College offers 7 merit-based scholarships to incoming students plus the So Scholarship intended specifically for international students.  These awards are designed to recognize outstanding academic achievement and encourage the best and brightest to join the Harvey Mudd community. Follow the links below to review award descriptions and determine if an additional application is required.