According to MSNBC, “Nearly 70 percent of students attending four-year schools pay less than $8,000 for tuition and fees, according to the College Board, a not-for-profit membership association that is composed of more than 4,700 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations.” Needless to say, for many students, financial aid is the only chance they have of going to college. For others it means the difference between being able to concentrate on studies and working part to full time while attending college.
While I found it character building to go to college while working two or more jobs, I would not recommend it for the average student. Many who take that route do not make it.
Here are some resources you can use to get financial aid for college:
You are eligible for financial aid if
• You qualify for financial need (in most cases).
• You have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education, and meet other standards your state establishes that the Department approves, or complete a high school education in a home school setting that is treated as such under state law.
• You are working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
• You are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
• You have a valid Social Security Number (with a few exceptions).
• You register with the Selective Service if required.
• Maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school.
• You certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant.
• You certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.
To determine if you qualify for financial need for your student loan, use the calculator at http://www.finaid.org/
You can get the application for Federal Student Aid at (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov).
You can get help completing the FAFSA at http://studentaid.ed.gov where instruction and phone numbers are provided.
You can get more answers for your student aid related questions at the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243) or TTY: 1-800-730-8913 or 1-319-337-5665. You can call between hours are 8 am to 12 midnight (Eastern Time) 7 days a week.
* Note: If you know what college you will be attending, get and stay in touch with the financial aid office at the college you are attending as they may require have additional as a part of the financial aid application process. Many schools have additional resources for financial aid as well. Get to know your financial aid officer, and they will keep you informed of any new information you may need.