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Recommended Reading and Helpful Links for Financial Aid

By Leigh Goessl, DegreeMatch.com
Staff Writer

While it is true the financial aid process can be cumbersome, it doesn't hurt to apply and it can be well worth the effort.




Financial aid is one of the most often overlooked resources students miss out on. There may be a few reasons for this which may include not knowing where to look or assuming one would not qualify for aid.

While it is true the financial aid process can be cumbersome, it doesn't hurt to apply and it can be well worth the effort. Many students who thought they would not qualify for a grant or low-interest student loan learn they are indeed eligible for some funding.

Exploring financial aid opportunities is a good place to start and the web carries a wealth of resources.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

One resource all U.S. students should check out is the FAFSA website. This is a primary resource for financial aid, which also serves as the gateway to any potential monetary award or loan with special rates. It also can lead to a job through the work-study program. The site includes the required application for aid and also offers several tips and links to other resources. All federal and state financial aid grants and low-interest loans will only be awarded to those eligible students who filed the FAFSA form.

U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Dept. of Education's website offers a wealth of information, including a detailed overview of financial aid. This includes explanations of how the system works, common myths and how to apply.

Additionally, Student Aid on the Web is a website provided by Federal Student Aid, a division of the U.S. Department of Education. Its mission is to help people benefit from available financial aid, both grants and loans, to enable individuals to pursue higher education.

FinAid

One of the top rated financial aid related websites on the Internet, FinAid is a free resource that provides comprehensive information regarding everything to do with financial aid. Encompassing everything from grants, loans and scholarships to 529 college saving plans and military aid, FinAid provides explanations and tools to help individuals plan how they'll finance school.

Scholarships

Scholarships are another type of financial aid that are separate from both federal and state funding. This type of award, which does not have to be paid back, may be offered by foundations, businesses or other generous parties. While it is true scholarships can be very competitive, much available funding goes unclaimed each year. Again, it's knowing where to look.

Two reliable websites that share information and resources about scholarships are CollegeNet and FastWeb. FastWeb also offers resources regarding all types of aid, and CollegeNet offers a scholarship search engine, in addition to its own weekly scholarship, which is open to all current and future students.

Additionally, there are books to consider, and your college's financial aid office can also provide some tips and resources to help you embark on your search for school funding. Paying for college is expensive, however there are potential means of helping make higher education more affordable. Knowing where to look to find resources will start you on the right path to funding your college degree.



Last edited: May 8, 2012, 2:09 pm EST
   
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