Applying for Financial Aid

Applying for Financial Aid

Applying for financial aid is a fairly straightforward process, but it requires that you meet deadlines and correctly complete all required forms. You should always apply for financial aid even if you don't think you'll qualify. You might be eligible for grants or low-interest government sponsored loans. The point is that you should explore all your options when financing college.

Completing the FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the main financial aid form you will need to complete. You can complete the FAFSA anytime after January first. You should submit the form as soon as possible as financial aid is often assigned on a first-come first-served basis. You can complete this form online, or request a paper application - although the online application is processed faster.

Complete School Financial Aid Applications

Many schools have their own financial aid forms and applications. Make sure you check with potential schools and complete the necessary applications as these might be used to add scholarships and grants to your financial aid package. Again, make sure you complete these applications as soon as possible.

Explore State Aid Opportunities

Many states offer their own forms of financial aid to help you pay for college. New York, for example, offers the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to help offset tuition expenses. The department of education maintains a list of state higher education agencies. You should check with your state agency to find the specific form of aid they offer.

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