Financial aid comes with a lot of mysteries for most students ready to enter college for the first time. But, there are really just a few important facts that you need to remember, and you will be able to easily take care of one of the daunting, necessary steps for beginning your college career.
First, start with applying for aid from the Department of Education. This is easily done by using their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which may be found online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is the only aid you can receive. Many states offer tuition benefits, as well. In addition, check into local community programs, churches, and more.
Stafford loans and Perkins loans are available to students from lower-income families. These do not need to be repaid while the student is still attending school.
Your parents may also be eligible for loans as well, through the PLUS loan program.
Grants, which become more common after your first two years in school, are the most attractive funding option of all. Unlike loans, they never need to be repaid.
The financial aid office at your chosen school is usually a big help in assisting students or potential students with the needed paperwork and administration.
Whatever combination of funding sources you find to pay your tuition, remember to keep all your paperwork in a safe place. Most financial aid form will need to be re-submitted every year in order to retain your funding.
You can get through the challenge of financial aid!