One of the biggest headaches that college-bound children face is applying and receiving different kinds of financial aids. However, it does not have to be this way. If you do your research and a little bit of financial planning you can go through this easily. College students are strongly advised to apply for financial aid even if you have a slim chance of qualifying.
You can apply for this by going online, it is that simple. The form is called an FAFSA form. When you apply, you are given a PIN. This is similar to the PIN that the bank gives you for your debit or cash card. This PIN is used to log on to your forms and log out of the system when you are finished. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Student Financial Aid. This is administered by the US Department of Education to give low income students the opportunity to go to college. A good thing about this is that anyone can apply for financial aid. Depending on the income, aid is given to families.
Every family should fill out an FAFSA form and the financial aid forms that are required for the school that you are applying for. Each school will provide a financial aid award package depending on the results of your FAFSA form. This form has a mathematical computation called EFC or Estimated Family Contribution. This is actually the amount of money that the family is willing to contribute for each child. This number will determine how much loan you are supposed to receive. This is given to you once you submit your FAFSA.
Your EFC is located on your SAR. Now what is this? The SAR or the Student Aid Report summarizes all the information that you have entered in your FAFSA form. It is recommended that you print your SAR so that you have a copy for your own records. Now, you can consistently give out the same information when you fill out individual school aid financial forms.
As soon as the school gets the information, they will offer you a financial package and present it to you. Your package may contain several options like grants, scholarships and loans.