COLLEGE FINANCIAL AID: Conquering the financial aid process

College financial aid may be the most important piece in the puzzle of college attendance.

College financial aid application is a process that is not to be taken lightly because where you will attend college will depend on how much money you have at your disposal. The best financial aid advice that I can give you is to apply early and follow up with each institution to make sure that they have all of your financial aid information.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and CSS/Financial Aid Profile (used by private institutions to give out their money).

Anyone looking to get any financial aid from any institution of higher education must file the FAFSA because no institution will give you his or her money without you filing this form. Even if you don’t think you qualify for financial aid, you should always file a FAFSA because this form can only help you and it will not do you any harm.

1. Free Education with the US Service Academies- 4 year ROTC scholarship (Reserve Officers Training Corps) Scholarships for the well-rounded student athlete. You do have a few options if you are thinking about a career in the military or at least thinking of having your education paid for by the US government in exchange for a few years of service depending on the branch of the military service that you choose.

2. FAFSA cannot be filed until January 1st of your senior year in high school. Since it is income driven, you will need to file your income tax and have your parent’s income tax filed before you file this form. I recommend that this form be filed as soon as you can after the first of January and before February 15th in order for you to receive any Federal or State grants.

3. Deciding what school to attend and how you will meet your Expected Family Contribution merits serious consideration. There is usually a gap in your financial aid award letter and this is usually the difference between the money that you have been awarded and your expected family contribution (EFC). This gap is mainly the difference between the money that you have been awarded and your EFC subtracted from the cost of attendance (COA).

4. CSS/Financial Aid Profile is an institutional form and it is used to distribute institutional funds. The private institutions mainly use it to give out their funds. This application digs deeper into your financial situation to determine how much you and your family can afford to pay for your education. This form takes into account your family’s income, your parent’s home equity, your parent’s assets and your parent’s investments to calculate your expected family contribution (EFC). This EFC number will not be released to you because it is for internal use only.

Paying for college:
If the links below are not alive, copy and paste (Scholarships) (Scholarships) (EFC calculator) (State Higher Education Agencies)



















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