Financial Aid 101

Welcome to class!

Everyone please pay attention … this is very important.

Now, yes NOW is the time to not only file your FAFSA for the upcoming school year but to also be checking on other sources of aid which you should have started researching this past fall. No excuses.

There are some things you have to remember about Financial Aid and one of the most important things is that SO MUCH of the aid available is first come first served. This means that even if you qualify for a “free ride” you may not get one because all the aid available has already been awarded to other students.

READ THIS. This school has a great document on Paying For College that is essential reading, especially for first time applicants.

Also, THIS is a great resource. Recently written by the staff at MSNBC, this article goes into detail on how to pay for college in these tough economic times and excerpted from “Paying for College Without Going Broke: 2010 Edition” by Kalman A. Chany (Random House/Princeton Review Books, Published October 2009).

The feds put together a great website at COLLEGE.GOV that brings together so many different resources and covers not only how to pay but also why you should even consider going to college.

Another great resource is this document by the feds that contains a CHECKLIST for helping you find money for school, taking the right courses, and choosing your major. It’s a must read for sure!

Finally, be sure that you are checking out EACH school that you are applying to in order to be sure that there aren’t additional steps you must complete with them to be eligible for their institutional scholarships, etc. Don’t forget to be actively searching for scholarships and calling schools to ask questions because there is no excuse for a lack of preparation.

No one should be able to claim the excuse of “no one told me,” because there are too many resources out there to help with financial planning in regards to higher education.

Class dismissed! 🙂