Applying for financial aid can seem overwhelming at first. Break it down into steps, and you'll find that it's not as difficult or confusing as it may first appear.
What should I do first?
Apply for admission to the schools you are interested in attending. The school's financial aid office won't be able to process your aid eligibility until you have been admitted to the school. Contact the financial aid office of the schools you have applied to for admission and ask them what forms you need to fill out. One of the forms they will tell you to file is a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form (link to the form is available below). They may also ask you to fill out a separate, institutional application, as well. (While you may need to fill out an institutional application for each school you've applied to, you only need to fill out one FAFSA.)
When should I start?
Start soon! If the schools you applied to have received your application, you may start contacting their financial aid offices. Ask about requirements and deadlines.
What funds does the CCPE administer and how can I apply?
The CCPE administers three grant programs. Click on one of the links below to find out more about these programs.
Access College Early (ACE) Scholarship Program for high school students
Nebraska Opportunity Grant (NOG) for postsecondary students
Community College Gap Assistance Program for community college students
Does CCPE send me a financial aid check?
No. We distribute money from the programs to the schools, which, in turn, distribute the awards to their eligible students.
Where can I get a copy of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid?
You'll find the FAFSA form and more at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa. If you are in Nebraska, the EducationQuest office is also available to assist you in completing the FAFSA.
My financial circumstances have changed since I completed the FAFSA. Can I update the information my college has on file to request a re-evaluation?
Yes, college and university financial aid offices have processes to re-evaluate eligibility for students whose financial circumstances have changed since they completed the FAFSA due to events like death of a parent, job loss, divorce, unexpected health expenses, additional family members in college, etc. A student’s cost of attendance may also change under certain circumstances, which can affect eligibility for financial aid. The financial aid office will review a student’s appeal and make a determination based on the college’s or university’s policies. The decision made by the financial aid office is final. Please contact your institution’s financial aid office for information on their re-evaluation processes.
I'm a high school counselor. How can I see if my students have completed their FAFSA forms?
The Coordinating Commission participates in the FAFSA Completion Project, which allows counselors and the general public to monitor the FAFSA completion progress of students at Nebraska high schools. The FAFSA Completion Dashboard is updated weekly and provides aggregate information by secondary schools, school districts, and certain designated entities on their students’ progress toward completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
I want more information. Where should I look?
EducationQuest provides more information about Nebraska state and federal financial aid, including scholarships. You can also obtain information from the Federal Student Aid website.