by Shannon Vasconcelos, former financial aid officer at Tufts University
In order to access financial aid for college, you can list up to 10 schools on your FAFSA (if you’re applying to more than 10 colleges, read our post How to Apply to More than 10 Schools on the FAFSA) to receive your family’s financial information. Upon receipt of your complete financial aid application, those colleges’ financial aid offices will determine your eligibility for any applicable federal, state, and institutional aid programs.
We are often asked if there is a particular order in which order a student should list colleges on the FAFSA in order to maximize financial aid or chances of admission. The good news for students is that, in most cases, it makes absolutely no difference in what order you list your schools: listing from first choice to last, in alphabetical order, or by favorite school color will not change your admissions or financial aid outcomes in any way.