The biggest aid dollars come from the schools themselves in the form of merit aid, and sometimes it takes an extra step or two to be considered for a school’s merit aid. I’ll discuss merit aid in detail in a future post because if you’re a parent of a current senior who plans to go to college in fall 2014, action right now may have huge financial consequences.

You need to find out right now if the schools to which your student has applied require separate applications to be considered for merit aid. You’ll find this on the school’s website, usually under Admissions and/or Financial Aid.

Do this now!!