How Do I Get Financial Aid?

Nov 23, 2015 | 8:27 pm

Unlike some money saving and money earning tactics you may be familiar with, financial aid is not a scam. There are many organizations, businesses, and individuals who are willing to provide money to help aspiring students pay for their higher education. While in high school, many of these opportunities are presented directly to you. Once you graduate, it becomes a tad bit more difficult to locate aid, since it isn’t being brought to your doorstep. At this point, you have to go out and find it. Luckily for you, this task is far from impossible. Here are four major steps you need to take in your journey to achieve financial aid.

Step 1:
Understand Your Deadlines

All schools have very strict deadlines. Whether it’s the deadline for the submission of your application or the deadline to be accepted for financial aid, these deadlines are non-negotiable. If you have your eye on a specific form of aid, but the deadline passed two weeks ago, don’t bother. Each state has different deadlines, so make sure to do your research.

Step 2:
Fill Out the FAFSA

Before being given financial aid, there are a few important things you must know. First off, FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the key to getting money for school. The goal of FAFSA is to determine exactly how much you or your family will need to pay towards your schooling. You must list your financial situation, your demographics, and a list of ten schools or institutions you wish to attend.

Step 3:
Fill Out Other Necessary Forms

Although FAFSA is the most important form you need to fill out, it likely isn’t the only one. Depending on the financial aid you are applying for, FAFSA may only be step one. You may need to fill out other forms, complete various entry essays, or do other tasks that are required, to receive financial aid. The goal of this isn’t just to inconvenience you; it’s to weed out those who aren’t serious about getting the financial aid, and narrowing the field down to those who appear to be 100% committed to their education.

Step 4:
Get the Money You Owe

This step may seem obvious, but it’s imperative. Aside from full-ride scholarships, you will still need to pay some amount of money in order to receive your college education. Don’t get caught unprepared. Once you finish all the necessary forms and (hopefully) receive your financial aid, your college career will begin to take shape. Make sure you are prepared for whatever bills you actually do need to pay.