Congratulations! You’ve been accepted to college. “Now how do I pay for it and what are my next steps?” Does this sound familiar? It should. Many students get accepted to college and then are at a loss of what to do next. We at collegewhale.com have put together a simple and quick checklist to help you through financing your college education.
The first thing you need to do is determine your tuition costs and decide if you are in need of financial aid, most college students are. If you are in need, here are the next steps you will need to take:
1. Apply for all the scholarships and grants you can. This may take some work, but it is well worth it. Scholarships and grants provide you with FREE money for college. For more on scholarships and grants view our scholarship section and utilize our free scholarship search.
2. Apply for federal student aid using FAFSA, this is the most important step in funding your college education. Do not “short change” yourself and not file a FAFSA. FAFSA provides access to all federal financial aid and federal student loans for college. Aside from scholarships, federal financial aid programs offer some of the least expensive loans and programs to help fund your college education.
3. Review your Student Aid Report (you will receive this after filing your FAFSA), to determine if your financial needs have been met. Often times, federal student aid does not cover all tuition costs, so do not be alarmed if this is the case for you.
4. If you still need more money for college, consider a private student loan. Private student loans may be used for: room and board, lab fees, or other education related expenses. However, students should be extremely careful to never borrow more in private student loans than they absolutely need to cover their college expenses.