I Am Going To University, Will My Relationship Survive?

As the saying goes, a good education is an investment in your future. However, it’s the “investment” part that can sometimes make a prospective college student reluctant. An investment is a long-term commitment, one that stays with you long after college in the form of monthly payments and credit checks. College can cost a pretty penny, but by investigating all of the financial assistance that is available you may be able to drastically reduce your part of the bill.

If you have already decided to pursue an online degree, you are probably aware of the financial benefits of your decision. By attending an online university you can expect to save the cost of textbooks, housing, a meal plan and transportation. Add to that the already lower tuition costs of an online university and you have a tremendous savings. However, the cost of higher education is not cheap… even online. So, if you’re like most prospective students you’re probably interested in attaining whatever financial aid may be available to you.

There are countless articles available about how to save for college or how to structure your finances in order to receive the maximum amount of financial assistance. More than likely, though, if you’re reading this it’s already too late for most of those ideas. Instead, let’s focus on how to find and apply for the financial aid for college that you need today.

Where to Find Financial Assistance

Federal Aid: Your financial aid search should begin with the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA). Most universities will have you fill this out prior to qualifying you for their financial assistance. If you’re way ahead of the game you can get an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid with FAFSA4caster. To learn how to fill out a FAFSA form, check out our video untitled “FAFSA application How-to”.

Federal student aid is financial assistance that future university is available through the U.S. government and covers school expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books, supplies, and transportation. There are three types of federal student aid that you may qualify for:
– grants (which you don’t have to pay back)
– work-study (working your way through college)
– loans (which you obviously need to repay)

To be eligible for federal financial assistance, you must meet certain criteria and demonstrate a financial need. Your school’s financial aid office will use your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), your year in school, your enrollment status, and the cost of attendance to determine how much financial assistance you will be offered.

Your State Government: Most states offer their own versions of financial aid for college including grants, scholarships, and loan programs. Check with your state’s Higher Education Agency or your university to see what your state may offer.