It is important to have a solid overview of student financial aid in the United States before beginning the complicated process of applying to programs to help you get the money you need for college. The first step is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Once that is completed and submitted, you are off and running toward finding and applying for the financial resources you’ll need to pay for college.
1.The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)-
Gather your financial information together so that you can fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as you can after January 1st.
2. Apply early for scholarships and grants, too. These funds are limited so apply early so that you don’t miss out.
3. The college financial aid office for the colleges and universities you are applying to. They have access to funds, too, but you may need to fill out additional applications beyond what you already provided with your FAFSA. You can also ask them for additional kinds of help such as work study, campus jobs, partial student waivers, etc.
4. Loans are available- subsidized and unsubsidized.The distinction, here is centered oon when interest starts to accrue. The subsidized are, of course, preferable as they do not start accruing interest charges while you are in school. The unsubsidized have interest fees attached from the time that money is disbursed to you.Certain loans such as the Federal Perkins loan may be available to you with low interest based on financial need.
Scholarships are based on merit and grants are based on need. There are some additional pieces of information “tips” that you should know.
1. Get the current information.
The ins and outs of college financial aid is a continual state of change. Be sure to get current information as things definitely change in some respects from one generation to another.
2. Emphasize your unique abilities.
College financial aid officers have a lot of influence on the financial aid package you end up getting. Here is where telling them about your unique abilities can make a difference in whether the financial aid officer can make some adjustments to your offer.
3. Look at all sources of funding.
You will need to consider using some of your savings for college. You may need to consider a part-time job and/or summer employment to add to your money available for college. This is especially true due to the fact that you must apply each year for aid.
4. Clubs and organizations are good leads.
Consider all the organizations you or your parents have belonged to as a source of scholarship funding. You will need to do some research, but do not pay for scholarship information.
You can start with this basic information, as an overview of student financial aid in the United States, to serve as a foundation for your exploration of the financial aid to fund your college education.