Financing a College Education -- Online
(ARA) - A student's final year of high school is typically filled with excitement ... and often anxiety when it comes to planning how to pay for a college education. Is it possible to avoid some of the headaches involved in applying for financial aid? Yes, it is. Access to almost all college financing information is now available online -- and it's free.
To begin, mark your calendar because applying for financial aid is an annual event. Seek scholarships and grants first because the money never has to be repaid. Check with high school guidance counselors and also browse the Internet to find out about organizations that offer scholarships. An especially useful site is www.finaid.org, which offers information about scholarships as well as other types of aid.
Each year, approximately $60 billion in federal financial aid is made available to students (U.S. Department of Education). Should you choose to apply, you must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that you can obtain from your high school guidance office, college, or through the U.S. Department of Education's Web site at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA determines how much money a student's family must contribute each year toward college costs, as well as the types and amounts of financial aid for which the student is eligible.
Save even more time and effort by signing your FAFSA and other financial aid documents electronically. The U.S. Department of Education will assign you a free Personal Identification Number (PIN) through its web site at www.pin.ed.gov/pinindex.htm. You can then use your PIN to electronically sign financial aid and loan documents.
Applying for student loans and keeping an eye on your loan accounts is also easy. Student loan borrowers can apply and check on their loan status online for both federal and supplemental loans from a financial institution, such as U.S. Bank, at www.usbank.com/studentloans.
The key to paying for college is to apply for as many scholarships and grants as possible and to apply for financial aid as early as possible. Online access and applications get you there with the click of your mouse.
Courtesy of ARA Content
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