If you or your children are looking at college and the financial burden is going to fall completely on your shoulders, the task may look a little daunting. The good news is there are plenty of ways to pay for college; the government likes people going to school!
Financial Aid is a federal program to provide money for those who need help in paying for school. A person must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The form is for the government to asses your financial situation to see how much of your income can be used for school. The aid is based off your annual income, so the FAFSA must be filed every year.
This program is called a need-based program, because the amount of aid is determined by the amount needed due to income disparities. The aid comes in forms of federal loans, grants and deferred interest and payments. Schools may also provide some sort of financial aid along with the government’s assistance, although universities may offer their assistance in forms of work-study opportunities or other programs.
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The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the most important part of financing your college education. It is a 5-page, tax-like document you must fill out so the federal government can give you financial assistance for school. You must complete and submit this form every year for most grants, scholarships and/or loans.
Some important facts:
1. The federal FAFSA deadline is June 30 every year.
2. State deadlines vary. They may be earlier than June 30.
3. You cannot receive any federal financial aid without this application.
It’s important to complete and file it as soon as possible, as the sooner your information is in the system, the sooner you know when and how much money you have for college. Then you can make a plan to pay for the rest.
You can learn more about what type of grants and loans available on this website. Good luck on your search!