The cost to attend college has been steadily climbing. Many full-time students receive some type of financial aid. The information below can assist you as you begin learning about and applying for financial aid.
Sources of Financial Aid
There are basically five sources of financial aid available:
Types of Financial Aid
The sources listed above provide aid through several methods:
Applying for Financial Aid
There are two main forms that must be completed to apply for financial aid--whether you are interested in government aid or assistance from a particular school or organization. The FAFSA is tied directly to the family’s income as reported to the IRS and does not require much additional information. The CSS PROFILE requires more information from the family. Almost all families should complete the FAFSA; the CSS Profile is often required by private school.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) must be completed to be considered for financial aid from the federal government, state governments and many colleges. The form may be filed beginning January 1 of the year you plan to attend college. State governments often have their own deadlines for filing the FAFSA; California requires that it be filed by March 2.
Excellent FAFSA information source for parents:
Estimate your eligibility for federal financial aid:
The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE is used by many private colleges and organizations. Check each college to determine when they require the completed form. The College Board charges a small fee to provide each entity you select a copy of the form.
The Center has a list of scholarships available for viewing at Scholarships, Nominations, and Contests. Searching the web for information is also a great way to find scholarships. A good website to begin with is FastWeb.