Paying for College
Families should pursue both need-based financial aid and merit scholarships as they plan for college costs. Most private colleges give financial aid to a large majority of the freshman class, and families of all income levels should investigate financial aid.
FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov)
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the first step in procuring financial aid from the federal government and subsequently, individual colleges and universities. The form is detailed and a little arduous to complete. If you need assistance, this is the place to go:
FAFSA Pin Link (http://www.pin.ed.gov)
Sign-up for a FAFSA pin number as soon as possible. This pin allows you access to the official FAFSA forms, when you file after January 1st.
CSS Profile (http://profileonline.collegeboard.com)
This is a supplementary financial aid form that many of the top colleges in the US use in addition to the FAFSA to determine a student's financial need. This site enables you to complete this CSS Profile online.
Sponsored by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, this page provides links to hundreds of sources of information about student aid. One of the most comprehensive, useful, and well organized sites in education today. This site provides a calculator for estimating college costs, a complete and thorough overview of the financial aid and financial aid methodology, as well as FAQs. Definitely stop here!
Guaranteed Scholarships (http://www.guaranteed-scholarships.com)
This site provides scholarships guaranteed by individual colleges and universities to ALL admitted students meeting the criteria listed.
The most likely sources of scholarship money for students are the colleges to which they are applying and local organizations. A student may be eligible for a merit scholarship at a college if he or she is in the top 25% of that college’s applicant pool. Visit the college’s own web site to investigate further. For more information on a number of local and national scholarships offered annually, please review the document Scholarship Information. Be sure to check the grantors’ web sites for current application deadlines. For additional scholarship information, visit FastWeb at www.fastweb.com for a free search of more than 180,000 scholarships.