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The FAFSA® form allows students to request federal grants, work-study, and loans.



https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa


Besides financial aid, you should also think about what you can do to lower your costs when you go to college.


Grants

A grant is a form of financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund, or you receive a TEACH Grant and don’t complete your service obligation). A variety of federal grants are available, including:

  • Pell Grants,

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG),

  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants, and

  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants.

Learn About Grants


Scholarships

Many nonprofit and private organizations offer scholarships to help students pay for college or career school. This type of free money, which is sometimes based on academic merit, talent, or a particular area of study, can make a real difference in helping you manage your education expenses.

Learn About Scholarships


Work-Study Jobs

The Federal Work-Study Program allows you to earn money to pay for school by working part-time. You’ll earn at least the current federal minimum wage. However, you may earn more depending on the type of work you do and the skills required for the position. Your total work-study award depends on

  • when you apply,

  • your level of financial need, and

  • your school’s funding level.

Learn About Work-Study


Loans

A loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest. If you apply for financial aid, you may be offered loans as part of your school’s financial aid offer. When you receive a student loan, you are borrowing money to attend a college or career school. You must repay the loan as well as interest that accrues. It is important to understand your repayment options so you can successfully repay your loan.

Learn About Loans


Apply for Financial Aid

Federal student aid from ED covers such expenses as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Aid can also help pay for other related expenses, such as a computer and dependent care. Thousands of schools across the country participate in the federal student aid programs; ask the schools you’re interested in whether they do!

Apply for federal student aid—grants, work-study, and loans—using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. And remember, the first F in “FAFSA” stands for “free”—you shouldn’t pay to fill out the FAFSA form!

Complete a FAFSA® form


01 Start Planning Early Plan how to pay for college before you start. Ask school counselors and the college financial aid office about state, college, and nonprofit grants and scholarships you can apply for. Be sure to meet application deadlines. Start saving before you get to college. Consider prepaid tuition and education savings (529) plans. Preparing for College Understanding Grants Understanding Scholarships


02 Fill Out the FAFSA® Form

Before each year of college, apply for federal grants, work-study, and loans with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. Your college uses your FAFSA data to determine your federal aid eligibility. Many states and colleges use FAFSA data to award their own aid. After submission, you’ll receive your Student Aid Report.

Filling Out the FAFSA® Form Understanding Work-Study Jobs Understanding Loans


03 Review Your Aid Offer

Your aid offer explains the types and amounts of aid a college is offering you, and your expected costs for the year. If you’ve been accepted to multiple colleges, compare the costs and aid offers. Accept the aid from the school that's best for you and inform them of other sources of aid (such as scholarships) you expect to receive.

Comparing School Aid Offers Accepting Financial Aid Understanding College Costs


04 Get Your Aid Time to go to school! Your financial aid office will apply your aid to the amount you owe your school and send you the remaining balance to spend on other college costs. One of the requirements to maintain financial aid eligibility is that you must make satisfactory academic progress. And don’t forget to complete a FAFSA® form each year! Receiving Financial Aid Staying Eligible Renewing Your FAFSA Form 05 Graduate and Start Repayment

As you prepare to graduate, get ready to repay your student loans. Good news! Federal student loan borrowers have a six-month grace period before you begin making payments. Use this time to get organized and choose a repayment plan. If you start falling behind on your payments, contact your loan servicer to discuss repayment options.

Managing Your Loans Exploring Repayment Plans Seeking Temporary Relief





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