Granted it has been a few years since I went through this process, but I have to agree as long as you are applying for a accredited college, the financial aid is different than the application. Most times, potential students apply to several different universities/colleges. The application process is more geared toward being accepted based on grades/test scores and often times interviews/essay answers and other non-academic activities and some combination of the above.
Then once accepted, a potential candidate typically applies for scholarships/grants and financial aid usually through the financial aid office at that particular school. I wouldn't imagine that a particular college would consider your application for financial aid until you were accepted - why would they set aside money for you if you weren't even able to be accepted academically?