how to apply for financial aid

Step 1: Apply for an FSA ID.
Apply for an FSA ID. Your ID will enable you to “sign” documents electronically, access your Student Aid Report (SAR) online and make corrections to your FAFSA through the web. If applicable both the parent and student must each apply for an FSA ID, using separate email addresses. If you have applied for aid in past years, you can reuse your FSA ID.
 
Step 2: Submit the FAFSA.
You should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon after January 1 as possible. The FAFSA is used to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and your eligibility for federal and state aid, including subsidized student loans. We use the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for institutional aid.
 
The FAFSA must be filed for every year the student is in school. Submit your FAFSA online at fafsa.ed.gov. A FAFSA requires a signature from the student applicant and if applicable, a parent. To sign the online application, you must use your FSA ID (see Step 1).
 
There is no fee involved in filing the FAFSA and all families are encouraged to apply regardless of their family circumstances. You will need to indicate the college’s school code on the FAFSA which is 010043.
 
Step 3: Submit financial aid forms. 
Make sure you understand if you need to file any additional forms and that you submit them by the school’s specified deadline. Visit the College’s financial aid website and complete the needed documents: https://www.bsmcon.edu/financial-aid-resources/forms.
 
Step 4: Apply for scholarships. 
Scholarship funds, established by the College of Nursing through the Bon Secours Richmond Health Care Foundation, are intended to supplement other sources and may be awarded based on a variety of factors, including donor-directed criteria, academic achievement (merit), demonstrated financial need, leadership, community involvement, career goals, community of residence, and other factors. Scholarship funds do not require repayment and may be awarded for one or more years. The Office of Financial Aid uses information provided by the FAFSA to calculate expected family contribution and eligibility for need-based scholarships and awards. Specific requirements for scholarships are provided in the college catalog along with a full list of available scholarships. 
 
You can also use tools like www.fastweb.com to search for national scholarships. You should always maximize the amount of free money you use to pay for college before borrowing. Keep in mind national scholarships are much more competitive and often times much harder to attain than local scholarships. Even though the awarded amounts on national scholarships may be higher, you most likely have a better chance of getting a scholarship from a local business or organization.
 
Step 5: Review your Student Aid Report.
After filing the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). Correct any mistakes online by logging into your student aid account. When reviewing the SAR it will instruct you to contact the financial aid office if additional information is required from you or your parent.
 
Step 6: Review your award letter.
The financial aid office then determines what aid it has available to help meet your demonstrated financial need. The college will aim to meet as much of your need as possible The financial aid office will put together a financial aid package or award letter for you. The aid may come in the form of grants, scholarships, and student loans. Remember, when your financial aid award letter arrives, read it over carefully. Review the registration bill for the corresponding semesters under: Student Portal – Campus Nexus, under My Finances. Your award letter will be published under Student Portal – Campus Nexus, under My Financial Aid, Award letter, Review Award Details. In the awards detail page you can accept and/or modify your awards. Once everything appears how you want it, select Accept All Awards.
 
If you feel that the award does not fully meet your financial needs or your needs have changed due to illness, unemployment or for some other reason, you can try appealing the award. Make sure to have documentation that supports your request. Many schools will take a second look at your package, if asked.
 
Your financial aid package may or may not cover your total financial need. If financial need is not entirely met, this unmet need is called a "gap." This means that other resources must be found in order to meet the full cost of education. In many cases this will mean additional student and parent loans. 
 
Step 7: Apply for loans, if necessary.
The financial aid office may include federal student loans on your award letter. If these loans are not listed on your award letter, you still may be eligible to borrow. To accept your federal loan awards, you will need to complete a Master Promissory Note. If you decide to take out a private student loan, you will need to select a lender. Our recommended source for private student loans is elmselect.com