Congratulations, you’ve been accepted to college. Now, “how do I pay for it and what are my next steps”, does this sound familiar? Many students get accepted to college and then are at a loss of what to do next. Here at CollegeWhale.com, we 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, which unlike other financing methods, will never need to be repaid. For more on scholarships and grants view our scholarship section and utilize our free scholarship search.
2. Apply for federal student aid using FAFSA
FAFSA, the Free Application For Federal Student aid, is often the most important step in funding your college education. If you are in need of money for school, you will not want to forget about FAFSA. FAFSA is your important access point 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 a SAR, or Student Aid Report after filing your FAFSA. This will help you 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. Still Need More Money
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.