For some people, attending or applying for college isn’t the hard part, but ensuring that they have tapped into all their options can be nerve racking. There’s nothing like, finding out you had the opportunity to receive financial aid in the form of a scholarship, grant or even a loan only after all the deadlines have long passed. To ensure that you are fully informed about all your financial aid for college, here is an in depth look into what’s out there for you:

  • FAFSA - The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is one of the most important applications out there to receive financial aid. As indicated in its name, it’s free of charge to fill out this application. You can go to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ to complete the application online. You are also able to complete a paper application to mail. The FAFSA takes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and subtracts it form the Total Cost of Attendance at the school you are applying, to assess your financial aid need.

Financial Need = Expected Family Contribution (EFC) – Total Cost of Attendance (TCOA)

You are able to use a FAFSA calculator to get an estimate of how much financial aid you can expect.

  • CSS Profile - The CSS/Financial Aid Profile is unique to many private colleges and universities who require you to complete the CSS Profile. These colleges and universities use the CSS Profile to determine what non-government financial aid you are eligible to receive. To complete the CSS Profile online, go to https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/prf/index.jsp. Be sure to check with your school’s financial aid office as to whether or not they require you to complete the CSS Profile.
  • Financial Aid Supplements- A financial aid supplement is specific to the school or schools you have an interest in attending. After you submit your FAFSA, contact your school or schools of choice financial aid offices to inquire whether they provide or require financial aid supplements.
  • Communicate with organizations, businesses, churches, and clubs about the scholarships, grants or loans  they have available to college students. Sometimes you will be surprised at how many of these groups are right in your own hometown or nearby.
  • Search the web. Use your talents to help bring in financial aid for college. For example, if you are a writer, there are several contests on the web and maybe even in your city that hold writing contests and give award money to the top 3 winners. Be creative in finding financial aid for college.

Hopefully with all the above information, finding opportunities to receive financial aid for college is a little easier. You are not just confined to the FAFSA. Go beyond, and seek out all your financial aid options. It just may make a huge difference in your financial future. If you need further help in delving into all your financial aid options for college, please make it easier on yourself and look at our financial aid solutions.

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