NACAC’s Guide for Families in the College Admission Process outlines the early stages of college preparation.
How can I find money? Start with your student's school counselor. They can direct you to resources to help you learn about applying for money for college. Loans, grants, scholarships, and work study are the four ways your student can get money to support their education. Financial aid can be used for educational expenses like tuition, fees, and books, as well as food, housing, and transportation. How is financial aid determined? To receive need-based aid, you must demonstrate need. (Need is the difference between what it costs to attend college and what your family can afford to pay.) Merit-based aid in the form of scholarships and grants are awarded to students with special talents or outstanding academics. How about money for two-year colleges? Money is available for two-year community or junior colleges (and for business and vocational/trade schools). Ask schools for information about financial aid and the transfer-out rate. Searching Online School websites are great places to gather information about financing education at that particular institution. Each site has a Net Price Calculator that can help you determine college costs. From there, you can calculate you student's need. Additionally, school websites give you more information about how to finance college and apply for aid. Federal Aid Websites Free Application for Federal Student Aid www.fafsa.ed.gov Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid www.studentaid.ed.gov Free Guide to All US Government Grants and Student www.fedmoney.org.