How to Get Financial Aid for College and College Scholarships
Applying for financial aid is not as confusing as you might think. Many families are often pleasantly surprised that they qualify for financial aid. Granted, there is information to gather and forms to fill out. However, if it makes paying for college easier, it definitely is worth the time and effort.
There are three types of student financial aid:
1. Scholarships and grants which the student does not need to repay
2. Loans which can be federal and private and need to be repaid
3. Work-study on campus. Once students determine the schools they want to apply to, they should contact these colleges and talk with a financial aid officer. Find out what grants or scholarships might be available for freshmen students. Ask how to apply for them.
Parents should fill out the FAFSA online form whether they think they qualify for financial aid or not. It can be submitted anytime after January 1, 2015. Some private schools also want you to fill out the CSS. Make sure you have all of the necessary financial information available before you begin either the FAFSA or CSS profile.
The sooner you file these forms, the sooner you will know what your financial aid status is at each college or university. It is important to review the financial aid reports you receive so that you are choosing the college with the least amount of debt.