Seeking Financial Aid With The Help Of FAFSA

By: MIKE SELVON

If you are a high school student entering into college for the first time or a non-traditional student joining the academic world for the first time, then you are faced with the problem of having enough money to pay for your college education. How do you pay for college? Financial aid for students is the number one academic concern that can keep a lot of people out of school when in reality it does not need to be this way. There are ways to go to school and get the money you need to do so. But first you will need to become familiar with the FAFSA.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form used by the Department of Education to determine your eligibility for federal grant programs such as the Pell Grant. The information you provide lets them know your income and your demographic information. Without filling out the paperwork you may not be eligible to receive some student loans and most certainly will not receive any grant money for your educational expenses.

When filling out the application, you will need some information about yourself. Obviously, you will need to supply very important personal information, such as your name, address, school of choice (up to three that will receive your report), social security number and your previous year's tax information. The tax information is used to determine how much you make and how much money in Pell Grants you will be able to receive.

Pell Grants are free grant money from the United States government that you do not have to pay back. It is awarded based on your financial need.

This is the best way to help pay for school since you do not have to worry about accumulating student loan debt. Granted, you will probably still need to take out student loans to help finish paying for your expenses but the Pell Grant can lessen the debt load.

After filling out the FAFSA, you will receive a SAR, or Student Aid Report, that will detail how much money you are eligible to receive. It will also inform you of your disbursement dates. This allows you to plan on when your money will be arriving.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is an invaluable tool used to help determine eligibility and helps students to go to school, who otherwise may not be able to attend. You need to fill out one of these applications even if you know you are not eligible for a Pell Grant because even student loans use this information. Good luck in school!

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