Finding money to pay for college can feel like a burden, although it doesn't have to be that way. Here is a list of resources you can utilize to maximize the funding you can receive
FINANCIAL AID & FAFSA
You have probably heard about FAFSA and Financial Aid, but what does that really mean? The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that all incoming college students must fill out to determine their eligibility for Financial Aid. Financial Aid is federal money provided for students to help cover some of the cost of college tuition. It is very important to fill out the FAFSA before you apply for college, and every year you attend college. For more information on the FAFSA click here.
SCHOLARSHIPS & GRANTS
Scholarships and Grants are another way to help pay for college. Both are free money that you do not have to pay back. You may earn scholarships as early as middle school and even throughout your time in college, you can still get scholarships.
Apply for any and all scholarships, no scholarship is too small ! Click here for more information on how to find scholarships
Remember some scholarships are awarded based on financial need, which is determined by your FAFSA. So it is very important to fill out your FAFSA early and before the priority deadline.
Student Loans should be something you consider as your last option. Many families make the mistake of taking loans out too early and overestimating how much they actually need! There are several different student loan options, some through banks, student loan organizations like Sallie Mae, or Federal Student Aid. For Student Loan Options click here.
When applying for Federal Student Aid you may notice there are subsidized and unsubsidized loans. For a Subsidized Loan, interest on that loan will not accumulate during your time in college and will begin six months after you graduate. Make sure to compare different intrest rates between the Student Loan Organizations that you plan on applying to. Try to look for the lowest interest rate. For Unsubsizied Loans, interest accumulates immediately. For more information on student loans click here.
INCREASING YOUR OFFER LETTER AMOUNT
Once you receive your award letter and scholarship offers, which will tell you how much money they will offer you to attend their university, you also have the ability to contact the Financial Aid Office at your university and ask them to increase the award amount. Depending on the funding of the university will determine if or by how much your offer letter amount increases.