You’re finally headed down College Street and looking forward to what lies ahead. Opportunities are endless—where you want to go to school, what you want to study, experiences and activities are there for the taking. But you know you will need help getting there. You opened your wallet and flies just emerged; it’s that empty. The next logical step is financial assistance. How do you get it? Paperwork. To receive funds for school, an application for financial assistance is required. Let’s talk about this a bit more.
1. There are several applications to be completed for financial aid, but first thing is first: the FAFSA.Every college student will hear this acronym for every single year of their education, so learn it now friends. FAFSA=Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s a mouthful, so just remember that FAFSA-->college money. Of any financial assistance form you fill out, this number one. To complete it, get out the following: tax information (yours and your guardian’s) and income information. These details will need to be indicated on the application, as well as whether you are interested in participating in a Work Study program (jobs that specifically pay for college expenses) and others. All of this information will help the government to determine your level of financial need, and thus the loans and grants you will qualify for. Expect a report back on your application status within about a month. Remember that the FAFSA is due by June 30th of each year, though each university maybe establish its own deadline.
2. Another big application for financial assistance is the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile. This is a financial aid supplement form often required by private universities. The Profile figures out an individual’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The FAFSA does this, but the CSS Profile considers money sources like home equity too. The CSS Profile costs $9 for the application and $16 for each copy. Remember that every form has a deadline. The CSS profile should ideally be submitted in October of the senior year of high school (for first time filers). Just as you needed loads of financial information for the FAFSA, the same applies here. It will help to have these items handy: W-2 forms, tax forms, investment records and bank statements. The CSS Profile will determine if you are eligible for non-government financial aid, i.e. institutional grants, scholarships and loans.
Now of course there’s always a chance of encountering other applications. One to keep tucked within the gray matter is an application for a private loan. These vary and will be discussed with a private lender or bank. Otherwise, you should be right on track with understanding how to apply for financial aid for college. Go Financial Aid is here to help and provide sound solutions to any financial aid inquiries.