Financial aid makes up the difference between what college costs and what a family can afford to pay. More than half of the students currently enrolled in college receive some sort of financial aid.
There are 3 main types of financial aid:
- Loans that have to be repaid
- Grants and scholarships that don't have to be repaid
- Employment programs, such as work-study, that allow students to earn money and gain job experience while still in school
The college financial aid process is starting early. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) can now be submitted as early as October 1. Discover Student Loans is hosting a FREE webinar to help your students and families make sense of the new changes to the FAFSA and the financial aid process.
APPLYING FOR FINANCIAL AID
Filling out financial aid applications is akin to filling out income tax forms. The first thing you must do is establish a pin# online at www.pin.ed.gov
Financial Aid Websites:
is administered by the U.S. Department of Education and contains information on major student aid programs, including Pell Grants and Stafford Loans.
is the office of the U.S. Department of Education website featuring information on federal student aid programs, including student Federal Stafford loans and parent PLUS Loans.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) takes students line-by-line through the financial aid filing process. This site is the actual Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA must be completed online; however, a paper copy may be obtained by calling 1-800-433-3243.
Students need the following to fill out the form: Social Security number; driver's license number; current W-2 income tax and tax return; a spouse's income tax return if applicable; their parent's income tax return; untaxed income records, such as child support; current bank statements; investment information; and alien registration or permanent-resident cards for non-U.S. citizens.
Students are typically informed about their financial aid packages through their colleges or universities.