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Financial Aid

Tips on Financial Aid:

1. The first step to qualifying for United States federal student aid is the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the U.S. Department of Education.

2. The main document that a FAFSA use for its determination of eligibility is your own and your parents completed and submitted IRS Tax Form 1040. 

3. FAFSA will assign the student an expected family contribution (EFC) amount. This calculation impacts financial aid and some other federal sponsored loans and grants. The EFC is the minimum amount colleges expect you and your family to pay per each year of college.

4. The EFC is recalculated each year based on information from your annual FAFSA application.

5. Colleges subtract your EFC from their cost of attendance (COA) to calculate your financial need, which in turn determines the amount of financial aid you will receive.

6. Some of the most important documents used by FAFSA is your own and your parent’s income tax return, business records, banking information, investments, Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans noneducation benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student.

7. Colleges must use the EFC calculated by the government when awarding federal and state aid. They also use it to determine the amount of institutional aid such as alumni endowments, which are not based solely on academics. 

8. The real cost of college is called the net price. The net price includes your EFC, any financial need that your college doesn't cover, and any financial aid in the form of loans or earnings from work-study.

9. Students and their families need to be prepared to cover any financial needs that aren’t being met by loans, personal resources and work-study aid if the student qualifies for it. Paying for college includes not only tuition, but also out-of-pocket money spent to pay for things not covered by another entity.

If you want a college education, and you've got the talent and the drive to achieve it, the money you need to help you make your dreams come true is out there. Our website will show you your financial aid options, and help you chart your course, and take the necessary steps to getting that degree.

Where to Find Information on Financial Aid:

Federal Student Aid's core mission is to ensure that all eligible individuals benefit from federal financial assistance—grants, loans, and work-study programs—for education beyond high school. The programs that they administer comprises the nation's largest source of student aid. During the 2005-06 school year alone, they provided approximately $78 billion in new aid to nearly 10 million postsecondary students and their families.

Mapping Your Future is sponsored by student loan guaranty agencies – many of which are nonprofit or state agencies – from around the country. We are supported by other organizations including charitable foundations and by members of our Friends program, which include lenders, services, secondary markets, and other organizations.

Other Ways to Pay for College:

1.529 College Savings Plan

2.Federal Plus Loans

3.Private Student Loans

4.Home Equity Loans


6.Coverdell Education Savings Account

7.Savings Accounts

8.Military Programs

9.Inheritance (International Education Financial Aid)

IEFA is a resource for financial aid, college scholarship and grant information for US and international students wishing to study abroad. At this site, you will find the most comprehensive college scholarship search and grant listings plus international student loan programs and other information to promote study abroad.

Take Caution When Applying For Commercial Aid
Commercial financial aid advice services can cost well over $1,000. Now, simply charging for help or information that's available for free elsewhere is not fraudulent. However, if a company doesn't deliver what it promises, it's scamming you. They will collect the same information that FAFSA collects including your social security number and income information. FAFSA is a secure online site that will collect your information and assign you an expected family contribution (EFC) amount. Colleges and some agencies use this EFC as the base for awards; the EFC is a need-based assessment.
Click here to learn more about how to avoid scholarship scams. - Looking For Student Aid Without Getting Scammed