College Counseling

Funding College

Navigating college funding

Falmouth Academy is committed to emboldening its students to take creative and intellectual risks to confidently engage in the world.

Nearly all Falmouth Academy graduates pursue higher education at four-year colleges and universities. A few students take a “gap year” between high school and college to travel, work, or volunteer, however, we encourage all seniors to apply to college while they are enrolled.

Seniors are accepted into and enroll in a diverse range of selective colleges and universities, and our college matriculation record reflects our commitment to helping our students find the best match. At Falmouth Academy, students and parents are encouraged to explore and embrace the college process with a sense of agency and excitement and are provided the tools and resources to do so without undue anxiety and frustration.

Falmouth Academy is committed to providing students and families with the information necessary to fund college in an intentional and timely way. The school has partnered with SMARTTRACK® to provide families with comprehensive services from the nation’s leading college-funding specialists. 

Steps in applying for financial aid

  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (the FAFSA®)
  • Submit the CSS Profile and other financial aid forms (if required by your institution)
  • Apply for Scholarships
  • Review Your Student Aid Report
  • Compare Your Award Letters
  • Apply for Loans (if necessary)


To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, work-study, and loans, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and easier than ever, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school.

In addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.

 It is important to know each college’s deadline for submission of the FAFSA.  Go to the college’s financial aid webpage and look for a list of important deadlines.

CSS Profile

The College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS Profile), is an online application created and maintained by the U.S. College Board that allows college students to apply for non-federal financial aid.

Each year CSS Profile gives access to more than $9 billion to thousands of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.  

However, not all colleges and universities require the CSS Profile. For a list of participating institutions, go to

It is important to know a participating college’s deadline for submission of the CSS Profile. Go to the college’s financial aid webpage and look for a list of important deadlines.

College Funding Resources

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    How a family is going to pay for college is nearly as important as where the student is going to go to college.  For understandable reasons, sometimes families wait until their student is a senior before seriously considering the connection between admissibility and affordability when in many cases doing so at an earlier date can prove to the student’s advantage come decision time.
    In an effort to help families address college financing in a timely fashion, FA has partnered with SMARTTRACK® College Funding to make this resource available to families at a reduced rate.

    Although the FAFSA cannot be filed until after October 1, it must be filed by the college’s deadline date.  Check the school’s financial aid web page for important filing deadlines; the Early Decision deadline is earlier than the Regular Decision deadline.  

    The FAFSA is used by all colleges to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and your eligibility for federal and state aid, including subsidized student loans.  Most colleges also use the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for institutional aid.

    The FAFSA must be filed for every year the student is in school.

    Submit your FAFSA online at A FAFSA requires signatures from both a parent and the student applicant. There is no fee involved in filing the FAFSA and all families are encouraged to apply regardless of their family circumstances.
  • CSS

    Some private independent colleges require you to file a CSS Profile application. You may use your student's College Board username and password or an institutional financial aid form from the college or university to determine your eligibility for their sources of financial aid.

    The CSS Profile can be completed as early as October (our colleagues at Smart Track recommend filing no earlier than October 10) and is available here.

    Check with the institution to see if you need to file any additional forms. Be sure to check when these forms are due (deadlines vary depending on the institution.) Pro-Tip: Create a spreadsheet

    Wall Street Journal's Guide to Student Loans
    Navigating the Myths and Misunderstandings About College Debt

    Or, use the green button on the page to download PDF

Why scholarships?

Scholarship funds enable students to obtain the education they may not have access to otherwise. They go further than financial aid for many students and reward deserving students with the ability to afford higher education.

Scholarships also recognize unique student achievement, which can make the difference when applying to select universities and later distinguish candidates when applying for professional positions such as internships. 

Scholarship Resources

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