Applying For Student Financial Aid: The Basics
Whether you’re a new student, a parent, or thinking of returning to school, you may be wondering how to afford a college education. A good place to start is at the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Aid on the Web site. It provides a good overview of what assistance is available and how to apply. In general, here are some important tips to make sure you successfully navigate the process and achieve your college dreams.
Start gathering information early. Free information is readily available from:
Ask questions. Counselors may know if you have exceptional circumstances that affect your eligibility.
Be organized. Understand deadlines and stay on track.
Keep copies of all forms and correspondence because you must reapply for aid each year.
Parents of students should save money long before your child attends college. Resources for parents include:
Federal Student Aid
Federal assistance for college and career schools comes in the form of grants, loans and work study assistance. An overview of the types of federal student aid is available at the Department of Education’s Get Money for College site.
For questions not covered by the Department of Education website, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.
Colleges and universities provide some 20 percent of aid, most need-based. Check university websites and the institution's financial aid office when you apply for admission.
Private foundations, corporations, and organizations offer scholarships or grants:
Targeted Aid for Special Groups
Repaying Your Loans
After college, the federal government has ways to help you repay your loans. Eligibility depends upon the type of loan, when it was made, and whether it's in default.
Opening a case on your behalf requires a signed letter or privacy authorization form from you, giving permission to look into your case. Due to the Privacy Act of 1974, no inquiries can be made without such written consent. As such, an e-mail will not suffice as a release. A written signature must be given.
For all education issues, please download and fill out the privacy authorization form and mail or fax it to Sue Windels in the Boulder Office.