Category Archives: Paying for College

5 Things All Parents Need to Know About the FAFSA by Kristen Moon MoonPrep.com

College is a huge investment for many families and most need a little bit of financial help. If you are looking for ways to pay for college, one of the first resources you may turn to is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Every student qualifies for some form of student aid, so make sure you are not skipping this step during your application process. Over the past couple of decades, the Department of Education has streamlined the application process, but questions can still arise. If you or your child are applying to a college, here are five essential things you need to know about the FAFSA.

  1. What is FAFSA?
    The FAFSA is an annual form filled out by current and prospective college students in the United States to determine their eligibility for student aid. It can be filled out by undergraduate and graduate students. The FAFSA can determine your eligibility for grants such as the Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEC), federal work-study programs, loans, and scholarships.
  2. What information does the FAFSA provide you with?
    The FAFSA provides you with two critical pieces of information. The first is Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is an index number that the financial aid department uses to determine how much financial aid a student would receive if you attend that particular school. The information you report on the FAFSA is used to calculate the EFC. The EFC is then calculated according to a formula established by law.The second piece of information is the Cost of Attendance (COA) which is the amount it will cost a student to go to school. Most colleges and universities will calculate a student’s COA to show the total costs of attending the school. Typically, the COA is an estimate of tuition and fees, room and board, books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, miscellaneous expenses, childcare, disability or any reasonable costs for study-abroad programs.

     

  3. Does everyone need to complete the FAFSA?
    The short answer is, yes, you do. By not filling out the FAFSA, you are missing out on a good deal provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Students could be eligible for federal and state grants that do not to be repaid. Or they could be eligible for low-interest student loans and work-study programs, helping them to fund their education and build their resumes. Every student qualifies for some form of student aid.
  4. How do I complete the FAFSA?
    The FAFSA website is fafsa.ed.gov. Students will need their social security number, alien registration number (for non-U.S. citizens), federal income tax returns, W2s, and other records of money earned. These include bank statements and investment records, untaxed income records, and the student and parent’s FSA ID to sign the document electronically.
  5. What is the deadline?
    The deadline for the FAFSA is June 30th. The application opens October 1st, and you should complete it as soon as possible because many grants and scholarships are on a first-come-first-serve basis. Most schools have funds that are limited, so students have a better chance of receiving those funds, if eligible, when their FAFSA is submitted early.

About the author:

Kristen Moon is an independent college counselor and founder of MoonPrep.com. Moon Prep provides one-on-one college counseling services. They guide students through the entire application process including completing the FAFSA.

5 Surefire Ways to Get a Scholarship This Semester By Dixie Somers

Scholarships come in all shapes and sizes, but in an odd twist, their ubiquity can make them difficult to sift through and find the ones that are truly valuable or meaningful. If you’re applying for a college such as this one in  Salt Lake City and could use a little financial help, here are just five ways to find a good scholarship.

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Student Finance: Money Saving Tips for University First-Timers By Emma Miller

Going off to college is the time when you’ll acquire some skills that might help you live more comfortably both during your studies and later in your life. One of those skills is managing money and developing financial responsibility. Since many students live on a tight budget, they need to acquire some budget-friendly habits that will help them cut any unnecessary expenses and even increase their savings. Here are some money-saving tips that will make your college life more comfortable and enjoyable.

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Tuition Intuition: 4 Ways to Survive College Without Breaking the Bank By Emma Sturgis

These days, it is almost mandatory that you get a college degree if you want a chance to compete in the job market. However, the cost of college is increasing rapidly each year. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to prevent the cost of going to school from completely busting your budget.

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How to Save Money in College: Top Alternative Housing Options By Alexa Paikowski

This post was brought to us by StudySoup.

College – it’s an amazing place, an incredible education, a great learning experience… and not to mention a huge expense. The cost of tuition alone is enough to break the bank. But then, there are the extra expenses such as books, meal plans, clubs, and of course, housing.

 

 

 

 

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Scared of Debt? 4 Ways Students Can Graduate in the Best Financial Shape By Anica Oaks

According to a report by U.S. News and World Report, the average student graduates with over $37,000 in debt. Understandably, many would like to avoid this kind of debt because it affects their ability to buy a home or start a family after college is over. There are ways to alleviate the burden of student debt. Here are four of the simplest ones.

 

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Funding Your Future: 4 Tips for Landing the Best Scholarships By Dixie Somers

There’s no questioning the value of a college education. A bachelor’s degree is essential for a fulfilling career, and studies have shown that college degrees can even prolong your life. But landing a good scholarship so you can afford to go to college can be challenging. There are sensible ways you can go about finding the funds you need for tuition and other expenses. Focusing on the opportunities you are eligible for and learning the best ways to approach them can improve your chance of success. Here are some tips for finding the scholarship that’s best for you.

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How to Continue Making Car Payments While Going to School By Eileen O'Shanassy

Life comes at you fast, and before you know it, you’re in a situation that makes you feel like you’re in over your head. Whether you’re starting a family, going to school, or just getting your first loan, life can seem daunting and fast-paced, especially when it comes to finances. When you’re attending school and have car payments to make, you don’t have any room for errors or mistakes. Here’s the best way to continue making car payments or other big payments while going to school.

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