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Tips & Advice

Free Scholarship Search Sites

Fast Web ......................................... www.fastweb.com
College Board's Scholarship Search .... www.collegeboard.org
Find Tuition .......................................www.findtuition.com
ScholarSwag .....................................www.scholarswag.com
Next Student .....................................www.nextstudent.com
Unigo................................................www.unigo.com 
College Tool Kit .................................www.collegetoolkit.com
Good Call..........................................www.goodcall.com
Scholarships for Military.....................www.affordablecolleges.com


Financial Aid and College Savings Information

FAFSA (online completion)...........................................www.fafsa.ed.gov
National Center for College Costs (estimator website)....www.collegecosts.com
Federal Student Aid ...................................................www.studentaid.ed.gov
SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid ............................www.finaid.org
State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana ...........www.in.gov/che
College Choice 529 ....................................................www.collegechoicedirect.com

 

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Q  Who should apply for financial aid?

A  Any student who is interesting in receiving financial assistance to pay for college should apply for financial aid.

 

Q  What does applying for financial aid involve and why should I apply?

To apply for almost any find if financial aid (federal, state, private), you must complete a FAFSA application.  FAFSA will tell you how much your family is capable of contributing to your college education and determines how much you can borrow for college.  That's information that your college and other private scholarship funders want to know when distributing need-based aid.  Go to www.studentaid.ed.gov to apply for a PIN to complete the FAFSA.  File the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible.

 

Q  Do I need to borrow the entire suggested loan amount on my financial aid award letter?

A  No.  The financial aid office (FAO) of your college indicates the maximum amount you are eligible to borrow that year.  You and your parents will want to determine your own personal budget.  If you want to borrow less than allowed, write a lesser amount on the financial aid award letter and return it to the financial aid office.

 

Q  Where do I find out what the requirements and opportunities are the the school I plan to attend?

A  Your prospective university or college's FAO will use information you provide on the FAFSA and other forms to determine your financial need for the institution, including costs to attend college and basic living expenses.  Then the FAO compares these costs with your Expected Family Contribution (EIC).  The FAO uses this equation to calculate your financial need.

 

Q  Why does the Financial Aid Office need a copy of our federal tax forms (1040)?

A  The financial aid offices uses this information to verify the data you have provided on the FAFSA.  If your FAFSA data differs from your 1040, corrections will be made to the FAFSA data and your EFC and financial need will be recalculated.

 

Q  How much will my family be expected to pay?

A  Family contribution is not an estimate of how much cash your family has on hand.  Your parent's contribution will depend on their income plus their assets, such as property, savings, and businesses.   Their contribution is also influenced by family size and the number of family members enrolled in college at the same time.  Most colleges expect students and their families to help pay for the cost of education.

 

Q  Do I have to fill our the College Costs Estimator too?  What is the difference between the FAFSA and the CCE?

A  If you wish to apply for Community Foundation scholarships, you must also fill out the College Costs Estimator.  The CCE can be filled out earlier than the FAFSA and gives you a head start when looking for scholarships based on financial need.  The CCE website also allows Wabash County residents to get all kinds of free financial aid counseling with just a phone call.

 

Q  Are you a "Traditional" or a "Nontraditional" student?

A  Traditional students graduate from high school in the spring of their senior year and enter college the fall semester after high school graduation (sometimes called the "current year").  As long as you go directly to college and stay in college, you are a traditional student.

    Nontraditional students often do not go to college directly from high school.  Either they take a year or more off between high school and college, or they start college and then stop for health, family, or financial reasons.  If they return to college, they are nontraditional students.