Everyone knows when their applications are due. The deadlines are clearly printed on the applications. But, there is another, hidden, and far more sinister deadline that is cleverly hidden on most admission websites. The financial aid deadline of March 1st. Even more sinister is the fact that this is the date that the school needs to receive the data from FAFSA, meaning you really have to have everything done and completed by February 14-15th. Even more frustrating is the fact that FAFSA only let's you send reports to 6 schools. Meaning, unless you start the process back in January, get the reports sent to the first 6 schools, and then make a correction and have the report sent to additioanl schools, you will miss the deadline for any schools above your top 6.
I have been blessed/cursed with a lot of application fee waivers. For $12.00 worth of LSAC fees, sure, I'll apply. Even better, if you throw in 25 free iTunes downloads for simply applying, I'll apply. But, this has left me applying to 14 law schools. I'm debating whether to put the top 6 that I want to get into on my FAFSA list, or the top 6 that I think that I will get into. It would be horrible to get into a school, but not be eligible for need based aid because I missed the deadline. Hmm...I guess I'll compromise and put my top 3 picks, and my top 3 probabilities on the list. Ok...FAFSA sent. Now I just have to wait a few days and start seeing if schools got the info so I can replace them with other schools that need the information.
This is so silly. The information is sent electronically. It doesn't cost the government any more money to send the info to 12 or even 50 schools than it does to send it to 6.