One of the most intimidating parts of the college application process is financial aid. If you're wondering how to get started, check out these helpful resources below. Also, read "Money, Money, Money! Financial Aid and Scholarships" to give you a starting point!
- FAFSA - FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. All students (parents) are required to complete the FAFSA in order to be eligible for financial aid. Even if you think you are not eligible, you should still complete the FAFSA. Head here for a quick page of information.
- FinAid! - Created in 1994 as a free public service, FinAid is aimed at bringing comprehensive, informative, and objective material to all. It is simple and straightforward and is a great starting point for understanding the financial aid process. Note: The creator of FinAid also created Fastweb (see under Scholarships below). Check out this post I wrote as a starting point for using FinAid and Fastweb.
- I Can Afford College - This is a site brought to you by Community Colleges of California. Check out the tab that says "Financial Aid Info" and choose one of eight categories to get started.
- Federal Student Aid Toolkit - This is often used by counselors aiding students and parents, but anyone is welcome to the site!
- National Association for College Admissions Counseling Fact Sheet - This is a one-page document that gives a brief overview of the online resources for financial aid counseling. Although this is directed toward counselors, it may be a helpful source for parents, as well.
- Edvisors: Financial Aid, Student Loans and College Scholarships - This site dives into the deeper aspects of financial aid, hitting such topics as loan consolidating and federal vs. private loans.
Yes, there is money out there, and it's worth the time to search and apply!
- Fastweb - One of the most extensive scholarship searches that exists. You can start by giving information that helps match you with scholarships, or you can simply begin a search yourself by choosing
- CollegeXpress Scholarship Search - CollegeXpress is a more of a college search site, but it does offer a scholarship search, as well. If you join the site, you can search for colleges, internships, scholarships, and more, and you can even save what you find so you can return to it later. Start here to learn more about this resource.
- FAFSA Scholarship Info - This is a page on the FAFSA site, and it offers basic info on scholarships, such as the types of scholarships available and where to find them.
- US Department of Labor Scholarship Search - You can search more than 7000 scholarships, fellowships, loans, and other opportunities at this site.