Financial Aid Timeline

You will first apply for financial aid during your student’s senior year in high school. Most Lutheran colleges and universities request that financial aid applications be submitted in January or February of the student’s senior year in high school.

A key component of the financial aid application is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which is available in your public library, in the school counselor’s office or online at

Much of the information requested on the FAFSA comes directly from your federal tax return, so if it is at all possible, you should complete your tax return before the financial aid application deadlines. If this isn’t possible, you should estimate the data requested on the FAFSA in order to meet application deadlines.

Some colleges require additional information, such as the Financial Aid PROFILE. The PROFILE is sponsored by the College Scholarship Service, with registration guides available in high school counseling offices or at

You will need to re-apply for financial aid each year your son or daughter is in college.

Month by Month

Young woman enjoys class outside.


  1. Complete your federal tax return as early as you can. If you are unable to complete your tax return in time to meet the financial aid application deadlines, estimate to the best of your ability. If you miss these deadlines, you will reduce your opportunity to obtain financial aid.
  2. Complete the FAFSA and ask that the results be sent to the colleges your son or daughter is applying to. You will be mailed an acknowledgement after completing the FAFSA. Verify that the information shown in the acknowledgement is accurate, and submit any corrections immediately.
  3. If it is required, complete the PROFILE and/or each college’s financial aid applications. Many colleges have their own scholarships, based on academic or extracurricular achievement. If you feel that the information in the FAFSA does not accurately reflect your family circumstances, contact financial aid offices directly for guidance.


  1. Colleges will notify you of their admission decisions and make financial aid awards.
  2. Celebrate your acceptances! Review financial aid awards, and make a deposit to hold your student’s place in the first-year class of the college or university of his or her choice.


  1. Complete necessary loan forms, if applicable.
  2. Begin making tuition payments.