Financial aid is very important for students who are unable to raise money for college studies. These aids include grants, scholarships, loans and work-study. To get the financial aid you have to completely answer FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student aid). This application covers different types of aid. If you get Pell Grants, you do not have to pay back the financial aid, whereas federal loans have to be paid back.
Applying for financial aid is not the same as applying for college. The application process is different, with different forms, requirements and deadlines. It is most recommended to make this application before being admitted to your desired university. For the funds to be disbursed you have to be fully admitted to the college. You need to make sure you follow some steps to get the best financial aid program.
The FAFSA application forms are better off filed as early as possible. Most of the federal grants and loans are issued on a first-come-first-served basis. Do not let the college deadline full you apply as early as you can. Tax returns always hold most people back from filing early. Use previous year returns to fill the forms as early as you possibly can.
Minimize taxable income
FAFSA is used by all colleges to determine EFC from the applicant’s family. The EFC (Expected Family Contribution) refers to the amount the applicants’ family can contribute towards school expenses and tuition. Families with lower EFC will obviously need more financial aid
EFC being the family’s portion will be determined by looking into their income levels. In the base year, the taxable income should be kept as low as possible thus being an advantage to the applicant’s family.
Financial Aid is Open to Everyone
Most people from families with substantial income shy away from applying for financial aid which shouldn’t be the case. FAFSA uses a complex need analysis formula to calculate who gets aid. Some universities have made it compulsory to fill the FAFSA forms, this way you can access the universities aid as well as academic scholarships. This crushes the notion that FAFSA forms are only for low-income families.
Some financial aid comes to inform of awards to students who showcase great skills. Some institutions will want certain students in their college hence giving them fancy financial aid. Some applicants approach the institutions themselves and represent their need to get financial aid from them.
For starters, a certain amount is issued to cater for expenses such as personal expenses, supplies and books. For continuing students, they are urged to save up money from the previous semester to cater for such expenses before next disbursements. One has to accept the terms and conditions that come with a different type of financial aid being offered.
Satisfactory academic qualifications
To receive financial aid, you need to ensure that your cumulative GPA is nothing short of 2.0. Not completing 90% of your units will get you disqualified in the program since you will be going against set terms and conditions