The best gift anyone can get is education. A formal higher education is paramount nowadays, as it opens worlds and doors like nothing else. This holiday season, I am planning on supporting my nephew’s higher education. Fortunately, that does not mean I have to dish out enormous amounts of money. I will talk to him and his parents about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to set them off on the right path to preparing for his first day of college only 6 months away! Once we address Three College Financial Aid Myths and I am sure applying for financial aid will be a breeze. This is important because paying for college should not be a deterrent to attend college.
Three College Financial Aid Myths Debunked
Financial aid, simply put, is money that helps pay for college. Sometimes you have to earn it with good grades, for example. It can be gifted to you (like a scholarship) or you pay it back (if you get an accessible low rate loan). Regardless of how it comes, you need to be in the know and be prepared for your college financial needs. The best thing is to get the proper knowledge, apply and try. Let’s begin by debunking these three college financial aid myths.
Financial aid is only for the very needy:
There are a number of factors that are considered when financial aid is granted. It is not based solely on income. As a matter of fact, there is not a set range of income defined to apply. Furthermore, a number of different scholarship programs use FAFSA to determine your eligibility. This means that you might qualify even if you think your family makes too much money to qualify. You can (must) complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) NOW.
Applying for FAFSA is very difficult:
FAFSA has evolved with the times, not only can you complete the form online at fafsa.gov , you can also transfer your most recent tax return information to FAFSA online automatically. If for any reason you need help, you can call, e-mail or live chat to get your answers. You can also prepare beforehand, by reading this document on “How to Complete the FAFSA“.
I won’t qualify for financial aid because of my age or ethnicity:
It is true that there are some basic eligibility requirements like having a high school diploma or a valid social security number. However, FAFSA does not look at ethnicity and age. These are not part of the requirements to qualify for help. As a matter of fact there are materials in Spanish at the BigFuture.com website like:
Preparing for A Bright College Future
There really is no time like the present to begin preparing for your college financial needs. Start by getting your FSA ID and gather all the documentation you might need. My best tips for completing the FAFSA are:
- It is never too early to start. Complete a FAFSA application as early as you can.
- Get as much information about paying for college, including finding scholarships, as you can. Great resources are available on BigFuture or by downloading the CollegeGo app.
- Always ask for help if you need it regardless of how early or far off you are in the process
Your college financial aid experience will be not only easy, it will also be peace of mind like no other for both parents and students alike.
Will you be gifting anyone support to complete a FAFSA application this holiday season? Who do you know needs the gift of Three College Financial Aid Myths Debunked?