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How to Find Information on Financial Aid for College

You shouldn't automatically assume there's no financial help for you when you go off to college. Find information on aid in several areas that might not have occurred to you.


  • TIP: Companies may pay your tuition bill directly, or reimburse you after seeing your grades. In some cases, pay is based on your performance.
  • Step 1: Check out the library. Reference librarians will help you find relevant materials, and may have advice from having helped so many before.
  • Step 2: Inquire at your church, at local foundations, or at community organizations about programs for educational assistance. It never hurts to ask.
  • FACT: Of all undergraduates in 2007 to 2008, 66 percent received some type of financial aid -- on average $9,100.
  • Step 3: Approach your employer for assistance. Many employers will offer tuition support through their human resources department. These employers offer the chance to integrate your formal education with career plans.
  • Step 4: Talk to the financial aid administrator at the school you plan to attend about institutional aid. Institutional aid is money awarded directly to students by the school itself.
  • TIP: Search free online scholarship sites using the key words "student aid" or "financial aid."
  • Step 5: Seek ethnicity, merit, or need-based financial aid, generally given away by private corporations or organizations. Go after these types of aid when federal grants or special scholarships aren't available.
  • Step 6: Schedule a session to get coaching from a high school counselor, who will have a large selection of materials and who can supply information on what recent graduates have received in the past.
  • Step 7: Go to the official online government student aid site and obtain a FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Alternatively, pick up a printed copy from a school guidance counselor. Answer questions about your dependency status and find out about deadlines.

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