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Act Smart for Financial Help

March 31, 2013

By Kirk McLaren, President

Financial aid sometimes becomes pertinent to surviving the rising tuition cost of colleges. Keeping a few important tips on hand definitely makes it a smoother ride.

1.   You need to complete the FAFSA on time. Carefully read all the instructions!

2.  Submit your FAFSA electronically, by your state’s deadline or as soon as possible after the first of the year.  Those who submit the FAFSA earlier get the most financial aid possible, as each state has their own deadlines. You can use the Internet to find deadline information.

3.  After submission, the colleges you have listed and coded will receive your information electronically.

4   You also need to submit your CSS Profile  to colleges that require it, by each college’s deadline.

5.   You can definitely ask your high school college counselor or the college financial aid office about any concerns about the FAFSA, CSS PROFILE, deadlines, scholarships, or financial aid!

6.    Research for scholarships. Keep an eye on deadlines and requirements, such as the personal statements many applications require. A personal statement is a short description about yourself and your family’s financial situation. Sometimes you may need to customize it per application request.

7.    Check out the Financial Aid Administrators (FAA) at the colleges you hope to attend, and notify them of any special financial circumstances that will affect your ability to pay for college. The FAFSA does not allow for reporting of special circumstances. This MUST be done by communicating directly with the financial aid office and the FAA at each of the colleges to which you have applied. Special circumstances might include the following: a sudden and dramatic financial change in the family such as a death or job loss, a parent who exists but is out of the picture and unreachable, a parent who is uncooperative with the process, etc.

You can wisely get a good college choice and financial aid if you keep in mind these important suggestions .