Financial aid isn't only available for the standard fall to spring school year. Many people choose to take classes over the summer to ease their load during the school year or to make up for classes that they may not have done so well in during the year. Taking classes over the summer can also push up your graduation date by adding on the credits. Whatever the reason, summer financial aid is available for these programs, too.
Before applying for summer financial aid programs, make sure you have completed the FAFSA. This will determine the amount of federal government aid you are eligible to receive, which is one of the most used forms of financial assistance. Most colleges and universities require that this be filled out anyway, so you should already have this done.
If you're all set with that, you should also make sure to talk to the financial aid office at your school to find out the exact process of getting financial aid for the summer semester according to your school. Different schools may have different programs. There may be a separate financial aid form you need to fill out for the summer term on top of your original financial aid documents for the regular semester. Along with this, you should also make it a point to speak with a financial aid advisor either at your school or from a separate financial aid provider.
Advisors can lay out the different financial aid options available for the summer programs, as financial aid for the summer may not be the same as financial aid for other semesters. This will help you be certain you are on the right track with getting the amount of aid you need.It is also very important to find out the amount of credit hours you'll need in order to qualify for summer financial aid.
If you don't have enough, it may lessen the amount of aid you're eligible to receive, so make sure you are well aware of this figure a good bit ahead of time, so you can prepare yourself in case you need more hours. Most importantly, make sure you are aware of all the deadlines for your summer financial aid forms. Missing these deadlines will significantly hurt your chances of receiving a substantial amount of aid.