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How to Pay For College; FAFSA tips, loan advice, etc; Advice from a college student #2

Updated on April 17, 2013
Don't let the papers scare you! They really aren't that bad:)
Don't let the papers scare you! They really aren't that bad:)

Are you stressing about FAFSA? Wondering if you will get your referal? Is this your first time dealing with financial aid and loans? Well don't worry I've been there and everything will work out. Here are some tips for beginners for the loan and grant process. If your worried don't be I'm here to walk you through it!

1. Figure out when the deadline is to apply! Make sure you apply early, this way you will have a better chance of getting your desired amount for a reward. You also have to apply for FAFSA if you want a loan, so even if you don't think you will get grants apply anyways. I want to make this clear even if you don't think you are going to get a grant or "free money" apply anyways you might get more than you think. Be sure to apply for the correct year also, so this year you would fill out the "2013-2014" FAFSA form. If you fill out the wrong form you just wasted a lot of your time, especially if you have to enter your information manually. When I say manually I mean that your IRS account can't think to your FAFSA account so you have to enter all of your information again. It's pretty annoying at first but you will get the hang of it. Just remember to apply early, fill out the correct form, and well just be sure you apply.

2. Be Sure to Save Your Pennies. Depending on what type of college you go to ( 4 year university or community college) you may not get a lot of grants. If your going to a four year college I really wouldn't worry but if your going to a community college like me you may not get very much. If you are going to a CC then I suggest you save some money up if don't want to take out a lot of loans. Also if you sign up for FAFSA early then you probably won't need to bother either but it's always a safe backup. College can be expensive even if you go to a CC. Four year universities offer a lot more financial aid and loans because its about ten time as much. Be sure to save your money when you can its always nice to have.

3. Make sure you sign up for the correct loans. Yes I know its annoying, you probably didn't think you would have to worry about it but you kinda do. There are two types of loans from school one is subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans don't start collecting interest until after you graduate. Unsubsidized loans start collecting interest right away, so if you get to pick one I would suggest the subsidized if you can get it, to keep your debt low. Remember if you get loans from bank your interest will be particularly higher. If you can survive by just getting loans from your school that would be great and it would help keep your interest low.

4. Don't forget about scholarships and grants! If you apply for FAFSA it will automatically sign you up for a few scholarships and grants. Be sure to go to your college and find out which ones you are eligible for and sign up for those. It doesn't take too long and it could really help you save money. If you apply for them you may get the response you want. Some scholarships and grants require you to write an essay, so don't be lazy write them! It could possibly give you some extra money for school.

5. Check your financial aid status! If you don't ever check your financial aid status you may have a hold or missing document and that could cause your FAFSA to be delayed in getting processed. If your financial aid gets delayed you won't be ahead of the people applying after you, but if you hurry and turn in your missing documents you will still be ahead of the game. So just be sure to check your financial aid status once in a while.

I hope these few tips helped all of you. I would love to do more financial aid advice hubs if I get good feedback on this one. College is stressful enough with trying to keep your grades up and I hope this helped keep your financial aid stress away. If you have any questions message me or leave them in the comments below, I will try my best to answer any questions you have!


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