What are two ways that students can develop debt before they ever even graduate college? Student Loans and Credit Cards! Andson could not provide Financial Education without talking about Student Loans - that is, how to avoid them. There is a lot of information for students regarding Grants, Scholarships, and Financial Aid. The problem is, like most other information found on the Internet provided by Government offices, it's a real pain to find, and even harder to apply for.
With that, we decided that a main part of our site will be dedicated to collecting information on Grants, Scholarships, and Financial Aid.
First, you MUST get started with the FAFSA form https://fafsa.ed.gov. This is required for many schools, and for any chance of qualifying for government financial aid, and many private programs require a FAFSA filing as well. FAFSA is the US Dept of Education's Federal Student Aid program. This form should be your starting point. In other words, fill this out first! Assuming your parents are helping you with the filing process (and you're under 18) you will need the following from your parents:
Collect the documents needed to apply, including
- Income tax returns and W-2 forms (and other records of income) Tax return not completed at the time you apply? Estimate the tax information, apply, and finalize information later. The important thing is to meet the earliest deadline.
- Your Social Security number and your parents’ Social Security numbers if you are providing parent information.
- Your Alien Registration Number if you are not a U.S. citizen.
- Federal tax information or tax returns, including W-2 information, for yourself, for your spouse if you are married, and for your parents if you are providing parent information, using income records for the year prior to the academic year for which you are applying.
- Information on savings, investments, and business assets for yourself (and parents if you're providing parent information).
Here is the complete Dept. of Education's Checklist for students http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/attachments/siteresources/Coll_Prep_Checklist_3MB.pdf.
Filling this out won't take long, but it doesn't mean you're done either...Andson will be gathering more information on Grants, Scholarships, and Financial Aid for students in the next few days. The deadlines are coming up quickly, so expect to see a lot of information from us and a new category for Financial Aid on our site.
ATTENTION! View Deadlines FAFSA filings at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/fotw1112/pdf/Deadlines.pdf