Financial Aid for College Students

Financial Aid for College StudentsIt’s that time of year when seniors are graduating from High School, and securing entry into a good college. Which means tackling the task of getting financial aid for your college student.

Getting financial aid and scholarships is very competitive in today’s market. If you want to have a chance at getting something, you have to understand the process, and do your research.

Here are some of the most important steps to take.

1) First and foremost, fill out the FAFSA (Free Application For Student Aid) form.

My suggestion is to do this online at, or you can call 1-800-4-FED-AID and they will send you one.

If you haven’t submitted your FAFSA for your student, do it now and get it in right away. The government operates on a first come first serve basis, so don’t procrastinate.

2) If you haven’t done so already, your student needs to apply for admission to the college or colleges of their choice. Do this quickly, as if they apply too late, they may have to begin their college studies in the next Winter quarter, instead of the fall quarter.

3) Within 2-4 weeks of filling out the online FAFSA application (4-6 weeks if you fill out the paper form), you will receive a very important document called the SAR or Student Aid Report.

The SAR is an analysis of the information you provided on the FAFSA, and will show you what your Expected Family Contribution should be.

If you do not receive the SAR in a reasonable amount of time you can call a federal processor at 1-319-337-5665. Be sure to review the SAR for any errors and correct them right away.

4) Next you should start receiving admissions letters and financial aid award letters. The award letter will detail what types and amount of financial aid you and your student qualify for, the cost of attendance for each school, any scholarships they qualify for, and your EFC (Expected Family Contribution).

If for some reason your family’s financial situation changed since you submitted the FAFSA, you can request a professional judgement review of your case from the financial aid administrator at the school.

At this point you should be able to compare your potential out of pocket cost from each of the schools your student applied to, and make the best financial decision for your family.

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