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Best way to go about getting financial aid

I come from a 1 parent household and my mom makes around $40,000 a year, i have big dreams for college but i know it'll never be achieved if i don't get some serious financial aid. please help #financial-aid

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Sheila’s Answer

Hi Katie:

The best way to get financial aid is by starting your search as early as possible. You've received some great comments so far and I'd like to add a few more items for your consideration.

• Complete the FAFSA with your parents
• Seek out private scholarships (ie, banks, credit unions, etc.)
• Check with the college you are applying at to see if they have award aid via their own funds
• Seek donations, foundations, clubs and local community
• Search for scholarships and grants

A similar type question was answered by a CV Professional (CH) and they provided some great information and awesome links. Here's the link to the post. ► ►

I wish you much success on your journey. Best of luck to you!

Sheila recommends the following next steps:

College Board (Grants & Scholarships) •
Sallie Mae (Grants) •
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) •
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Amit’s Answer

Hi Katie,

It is great that you are being proactive about obtaining financial aid to help pay for college. There are many options that are available, which can help fulfill your college dreams and help reduce the burden of college costs.

Fill out the application on the Federal Student Aid government website, known as FAFSA. In this application you will input information based on your family household income and where you will attend college. A few weeks after you complete the application, you will be able to check if the college will be offering you grants, award money, or subsidized loans. The application is not hard to fill out, and is definitely worth your time.

Apply for scholarships. I know the task of applying for scholarships seems daunting, but you would be surprised on how many people do not apply. I recommend starting with your high school, speak with the individual in charge of the scholarships (it may be a counselor) and find out what you are eligible to apply for, and then apply.  The applications are usually essay and short answer based, and can pay off big time. If you have already been admitted into college, check with their financial aid department to see if there are any scholarships that could you apply for. Finally, search online for scholarships and apply for what you are eligible. You know what you can be awarded unless you try.

Work will in college. If you are eligible for workstudy, which is a type of financial aid provided by the school through FAFSA; you can receive tax free wages based on the amount that was allocated to your workstudy account. If you are not eligible for workstudy, I still recommend working a few hours a week after your first semester. Most colleges have plenty of jobs available that are made for college students to occupy.  

To provide some background and a personal example, both my brother and I came from a similar background that you are describing. We applied for nearly every single scholarship through our high school and ended up with a decent chunk of cash. We also complete the FAFSA application, which provided very generous grants, and worked while in college, and came out with no debt. It is possible. 

Amit recommends the following next steps:

Fill out the FAFSA application
Apply for scholarships through your high school and college
Work while in college