When you begin the process of applying to college more than likely the question that comes right after “Can I get accepted to this school?” is “How in the world am I going to pay for this if I DO get accepted?”. With that in mind I would like to shed a little bit of light on some helpful websites that will be indispensable in your search for financial aid.
First, http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ . This is the Department of Education’s website that is designed to answer all the question there are concerning Federal Aid. This will typically include, Stafford and Perkins loans, the Pell grant, ACG Grant, and the FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant). Any of your questions can be answered here concerning these federal grants.
Second, http://www.finaid.org/ . This is a great resource website concerning all aspects of financial aid, from tips on completing your FAFSA, to explaining loans and grants, to calculators that can be very useful in determining your EFC, loan repayment amounts, savings needed for college etc…
Third, http://www.fastweb.com/ . This website is a comprehensive scholarship search website. You are able to create a profile with detailed information about your skills, attributes, credentials, and interests and then create a search that will generate literally hundreds of scholarships you are eligible to apply for. This is an amazing resource to use in conjunction with your Federal financial aid.
Fourth, your individual school’s financial aid website. The vast majority of schools have endowment of scholarship programs that provide millions of dollars each year for student’s to attend. Many of these scholarships are based on your high school academics or service achievements. There are also numerous athletic scholarships if you have what it takes to be a student athlete. I would definitely recommend speaking with your financial aid office and exploring the opportunities they have. They will also be an invaluable source of information as you progress through your financial aid process.
More tips to come…..