As the beginning of the year rolls around, with it comes the race for college scholarships and financial aid. These five tips will help you to make the best of your financial aid applications.
1. Get Started Early!
It is never too early to start working on financial aid applications. Gathering information about your family’s income as well as looking into financial aid deadlines can be done long before any financial aid applications are due. Having this information readily available will make applications a breeze.
2. Fill out the FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form required in order to qualify for federal student aid, as well as financial aid from most colleges. Even if you do not qualify because of your income being declined is sometimes a requirement for certain private grants and scholarships. Every January you must fill out the FAFSA in order to qualify for financial aid so do not forget to fill it out every year.
3. Stay Organized
Keeping track of deadlines and which scholarships require what information is half the battle. Keeping a planner or binder of all your financial aid applications can help you to stay on track and prioritize applications.
4. Apply Early And Often
Remember, there are millions of other students applying for the exact same scholarships, the sooner you apply the more likely you are to receive financial aid. Also, apply for as many financial aid opportunities as possible. There is no such thing as too much financial aid.
5. Highlight Your Accomplishments
Merit-based scholarships are all about competing against other students. If you are able to highlight the attributes that are most appealing and impressive an awards committee will be much more willing to give you the scholarship.