You can apply for some of the highest paying education grants through the government to cover tuition, books, and related school supplies. The average cost of attending a college in the United States is around $35,000 per year. This is triple the price it was 20 years ago, and the expense continues to grow more than six percent annually.
Student loans interest rates make these costs even higher over the long run. A bachelor’s degree could end up costing you tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars more than your original loan amount. Find out how to reduce academic expenses with free money from grants.
With college costing thousands of dollars, you probably need financial aid like many prospective college students. In addition to tuition, you will need to cover the expense of books and supplies. You may also need to pay for food and housing if you plan to live on campus.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the easiest way to apply for free money from the government. It does not cost money to submit it, and it allows you to apply for multiple financial opportunities.
FAFSA is an application for multiple federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. But you will need to apply for non-government, private, and commercial grants separately.
You will need to apply before each school year. You can go to the FAFSA website to apply online or print out the form to submit by mail. The online application is more convenient and can make future submissions easier.
You must submit the application before the deadline. Three deadlines to consider include:
- The federal deadline of June 30th (for aid the following year). You can make corrections or updates until September 10th.
- Your state’s deadline, which varies
- Your school’s deadline, which also varies.
The first time you submit a FAFSA form, you will receive a federal student aid identification (FSA ID) number. Your FSA ID will be the same no matter which school you attend. You can apply for government financial assistance for up to 10 institutions. You can update the list of schools, but each new school will replace one of the originals.
The application requires a lot of information about you and your family. These details are how the government determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Some documents and information you will need to complete the form include tax records, bank balances, investments and other assets.
In addition to local state and school grants, the FAFSA form will check your qualifications for Federal Pell Grants. Check out the requirements for the four different Pell Grants.
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