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Need Help Paying For College?

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 04-06-2007

Federal financial aid is available, and applying for it is
easy.

ALTHOUGH PAYING FOR COLLEGE can sometimes seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. The
US. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid makes $80 billion available to students
and families each year for education beyond high school. That $80 billion comes in the form of
grants, low-interest loans and work-study programs.

TO APPLY

To find out if
you or family members are eligible, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
(FAFSA). Financial-aid offices use this information to determine eligibility for different types of
federal student aid. Students may apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov or obtain application forms from
school guidance counselors or local libraries. Applications are accepted beginning January 1 for the
following school year.

You can simplify the application process by taking the
following steps:

1.GETA PIN.

Apply for a personal identification number PIN)
at www.pin.ed.gov It will allow you to sign your FAFSA electronically and later to access your
processed FAFSA online.

2. GATHER THE INFORMATION REQUIRED TO
APPLY.

  • Social Security numbers–yours and those of your parents, if you’re a dependent
    who needs to provide parent information.
  • Your driver’s license number if you have
    one.
  • Your Alien Registration Number, if you are not a US. citizen.
  • Federal tax
    information or tax returns. This includes W-2 information for yourself, for your spouse if you’re
    married, and for your parents if applicable. Use income records for the year prior to the academic
    year for which you are applying.
  • Records of untaxed income such as Social Security,
    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and veteran’s benefits. You’ll also need information
    on savings, investments, and business and farm assets for yourself and for your parents if
    applicable.

3. BE AWARE OF DEADLINES

The FAFSA is also the qualifying document
for many state, regional and private financial aid programs, so make sure you submit the forms as
soon after January 1 as possible. If you miss your state deadline, still complete the FAFSA to
qualify for federal aid.

4. COMPLETE AND SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION, AND FOLLOW
UP.

Enter all the necessary information at www.fafsa.ed.gov If you need help, links are
available on each page of the online application. After you submit it, you will receive a
confirmation number that tells you your application has been successfully
submitted.

Once your application is processed, you will receive an e-mail with a
link to your Student Aid Report (SAR). If you did not provide an e-mail address, you will receive
your SAR by mail. Review your SAR for any necessary corrections or
updates.

Remember, the most costly education is the one not begun, and the only way
to qualify, for federal student aid for education beyond high school is by completing the
FAFSA.

Source: US Department of Education