Financial Aid and Merit Scholarship Support

Whether you require assistance with need-based or merit-based scholarships, external merit scholarship research and sourcing, or just want another set of eyes on your financial aid application prior to submission, Crimson Financial Aid experts can provide the help you need!

How Crimson Helps



ECL mentoring

Financial Aid Eligibility


Merit Scholarships

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How Crimson Helps

The Crimson Financial Aid Team helps students and their families with comprehensive financial aid application support, including university merit scholarship identification.

In addition, we teach students how to find and research external funding resources. With the help of Crimson Application & Essay Mentors, we ensure students are able to build strong scholarship applications.

We understand how confusing these processes can be, and that every family’s needs are different. Keep reading to find out more about our financial aid and merit scholarship services!

financial aid

CSS Profile, IDOC and FAFSA completion

First, what are the CSS Profile, IDOC platform and FAFSA? Let’s start with some definitions:

  • The CSS Profile is mandatory for students applying for financial aid at over 250 schools. The online application evaluates students’ eligibility for need-based grants and some university scholarships, taking into account a family’s earnings and assets.
  • The IDOC (Institutional Documentation) Service is a secure document upload portal that many CSS Profile schools use to collect the financial information needed to complete the CSS Profile.
  • The FAFSA is a form used by the US Department of Education to determine students’ eligibility for US federal or state student aid, including need-based grants, federal and state loans, and federal work study programs.

At Crimson we guide families through each step, answering any questions they may have about the financial aid application process, including how & when to reach out to the individual schools.

01. University selection strategy

Unsure what your family might qualify for?

Many families come to us uncertain as to where they stand when it comes to financial aid eligibility. Crimson’s Financial Aid Mentors have many years of experience, and can assess your family’s financial situation in relation to the colleges you are applying to.

Here are just two examples of how we can help: 

Special circumstances guidance

Special circumstances are defined as anything that creates a financial hardship for your family that could have a negative impact on your ability to pay for college. Our Financial Aid Mentors help students and their family understand what these are and counsel them on how to notify their prospective colleges so that any applicable circumstance(s) can be considered when evaluating a student’s financial need.

Non-binding eligibility assessments

If you are are parent and are unsure if your student will qualify for need-based financial aid (in other words, if you are wondering if completing the FAFSA or the CSS Profile is 'worth it'), we can help by explaining how your family's finances might be evaluated by both public and private universities.

Merit scholarship identification and support

There are two types of merit scholarships students can consider: those offered by the colleges they are applying to, and those offered by external organizations that are not attached to any specific university.

In both cases, our Financial Aid Mentors help students and their Crimson teams to:

  • Identify scholarships offered by universities on your college application list, and the application rounds that would be best to maximize these opportunities.
  • Match students’ individual GPA, SAT/ACT scores, extracurricular projects, and intended major to the scholarship criteria.
  • Research, identify and support with applications to external merit scholarship opportunities

These scholarships have been game changers for hundreds of Crimson students who have been offered everything from a few thousand dollars towards their tuition, to full-ride scholarships!

merit scholarships
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Meet our Lead Financial Aid and Merit Scholarship Mentor

Morgan Dyson leads Crimson's Financial Aid and Merit Scholarships team and has personally helped students gain financial aid from Ivy League schools including Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, UPenn, & Yale as well as other top colleges such as UC Berkeley, UCLA, Duke, Rice, the University of Michigan, Washington University-St.Louis, Fordham, Lehigh, Rutgers, and many, many more. You can learn more about Morgan below.

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Ready to get started on your path to your dream college?