People say that education is a right that everyone deserves to have. But in most cases, education is a privilege that can only be afforded by some people. For other people, no matter how much they want to have a higher education, they do not seem to really have the opportunity to do so. It is quite hard to accept the fact that not all people can finish college.
Parents, guardians and students themselves find the cost of higher education burdening. Some even find themselves almost buried in debt even years after graduating. That is why financial aid is one of the best things ever created. It made things possible for all those who were just dreaming about college education. People say that education is a right that everyone deserves to have. But in most cases, education is a privilege that can only be afforded by some people. For other people, no matter how much they want to have a higher education, they do not seem to really have the opportunity to do so. It is quite hard to accept the fact that not all people can finish college.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is already something to take advantage of but it would be smarter to know more things about it and actually make the most of the aid. FAFSA is a form that most schools use to determine the need for financial aid of a student. Some may give grants, federal aid, scholarships, loans, work-study programs, etc. Anything at all to make education possible for a certain student. Here are a few tips on how you can get the best out of your financial aid:
The easiest thing to do when applying is to file early. You can file forms as early as January because some schools may have deadlines as early as mid-February. The earlier you file, the higher the chance of you getting that grant because some loans and grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, even if the university has a later deadline. Some wait for their taxes to be filed before filing for the grant. You can actually estimate some fields on the FAFSA form by using your previous pay stub and tax return.
Do not Assume that you will not be Granted
It would not hurt you if you still try to file and apply for a seemingly impossible grant. Even if you have a substantial family income, do not think that financial aids are just for low and middle class families. Each and every person has the chance to get an aid. Nobody knows the exact formula used by administrators in determining for one’s eligibility. The formula is complex, is open for all and offers more opportunities for you. So just go ahead and file.
Minimize your Taxable Income
The FAFSA is the main tool used by universities to determine the amount of aid one needs. One of the determinants in the tool includes the applicant’s expected family contribution (EFC) which is the estimated amount a student or his family can allot towards tuition fee and other expenses. A lower EFC gives an applicant a higher chance of getting a financial aid.
FAFSA is just a Part
FAFSA has been mentioned numerous times in this article because it is the most important and basic thing used to determine an applicant’s eligibility for the scholarship or grant. However, even if it may be the main determinant, it is not singled out. There are also other factors considered by schools and universities before granting you that financial aid. An applicant’s previous school record will also be looked into. They will also consider a student’s expertise, skills and attitude when determining possible grants.