Are you fully prepared to pay for next semester? Probably not, but the good news is you have an entire summer to help you prepare. And, believe it or not, finding simple financial aid solutions on campus is much easier than you think when you know where to locate them.
The truth is that most students shudder at hearing “financial aid” and why wouldn't you? It’s confusing, intimidating and, as a result, you likely avoid the topic at all costs. However, avoiding the topic only makes it that much worse in the long run.
Which is why, at Fastweb, we prefer to tackle financial aid head on and help you understand financial aid and all it entails so you can make smarter decisions.
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Fortunately, there are also simple solutions that current and upcoming college students can utilize to find both financial aid assistance and scholarships right on campus -- in addition to using Fastweb, of course!
File your FAFSA.
Available October 1 of each year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, does take some effort but is well
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(Remember, the federal deadline for the previous year's FAFSA is June 30
The form is the key to determining your eligibility for need-based financial aid
and some colleges require it to be qualified for need-based scholarships as well.
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Utilize your campus financial aid office.
Seeing as the world of financial aid can be confusing, it can behoove you to make friends with the experts within your school’s financial aid office.
Their sole job is to help you figure out how to pay for school, find opportunities and discuss different options so you’re not stuck with a pile of debt upon graduation.
Creating a relationship with a financial advisor in your school’s financial aid
office means they’ll keep your situation in mind for new awards and opportunities and, trust us, it pays to have someone on your side.
Utilize this resource and, while you’re in there, take the opportunity to negotiate your financial aid
package. You’d be surprised how often this works and how few students actually make an attempt to do this. Become of the few who make the smart decision to do so!
Check scholarships specifically from your major’s department.
Majors are a great resource for scholarships because they are often funded by alumni and other school patrons.
Once you’ve declared your major, you’ll qualify for all sorts of scholarships
within your department so be sure to check with your advisor regarding scholarship opportunities specifically tailored to your major.
Generally, the more specific or unique the major, the less competition there is, so depending on your area of study, this may be a strategic goldmine!
Check scholarships specifically from the college within your university.
If you attend a larger university or are working towards a higher degree, you’re most likely enrolled within a specified college (such as the “College of Arts and Sciences” or “College of Engineering”) within the larger university.
Check for scholarships
within your specific college. Often times, similar to scholarships for certain majors, there are plenty of scholarships
provided by alumni and other college benefactors.
Your advisor, as well as the department’s main office, should be able to point you in the right direction for college-specific scholarships.
Chances are all of the scholarship
opportunities are also listed on your school’s web site as well, though you may have to do some digging, so it may be worth a quick stop on your way to or from class.