How to Apply for Financial Aid

by Contributor

Financial aid can help you attend a more expensive school, rather than settling for the best you can afford. There are many types of financial aid available for those willing to fill out the necessary forms.

Apply between January 1 and June 30. Check with the individual schools where you are applying; some have deadlines as early as January.

Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, which you can obtain from the Office of Post-Secondary Education. It includes a Student Aid Report, which helps determine your expected family contribution.

Use a No. 2 pencil or black ink to complete the application.

Be prepared to give general information such as your name, address, social security number, citizenship status, marital status and type of degree you earned in high school.

Be prepared to give financial information such as total family income, number of people in the household and number of people in college. Round numbers to the nearest whole dollar amount.

List six schools you are interested in attending. You can change them if you find that the schools don't provide the financial support you need.

Sign and date the application form.

Photocopy every sheet of the application for your records.

Wait for the results of your application, including the amount of financial aid you can expect to receive. It will be sent to you and to the schools you have applied to.