Once I fill out a FAFSA and get an EFC, does actually getting a Stafford loan require filling out any financial aid forms at the schools by the "aid" deadline, or can I just request this whenever I feel like it?
Note, I just want the $18,500 in Stafford money (as I'm sure my EFC will be well below the $55,000 cost of attendance), I'm not looking for any other financial aid.
If the school has a specific financial aid form, fill it out. The school will still need to figure out exactly what kind of stafford....sub v. unsub, possible all unsub depending on income. Once you are approved, it should be simple to get the loan, at some point you will have to sign a promissory note.