Meet Cost

Financial Aid Checklist

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First Thing, Make Sure You Complete Your Off-to-College Tasks
Deadlines include essay and application submissions, college visits, housing selection, and collecting those things for your move.

Our quick calendar of events can help (links to our Off-to-College planning center):
Go to our Off-to-College Planning Calendars

Understand the Financial Aid Process
First comes the FAFSA form, then the SAR, and then the Financial Aid letter from your school.

Review how the process works:
Go to Financial Aid Steps

Do You Qualify for Financial Aid
Financial aid is awarded based on a formula that calculates the total cost of attending school and the expected family contribution to that cost.

Review qualifications:
Go to Financial Aid Note 1

Understand the Types and Sources of Student Financial Student Aid
Financial aid programs include grants, scholarships, loans, state programs, and other special aid.

We have complete information on types and sources:
Start With Our Financial Aid Guide

You can view a summary chart of financial aid options:

financial aid chart: for undergraduates
financial aid chart: for graduates
financial aid chart: for parents
financial aid chart: for continuing students

FAFSA Submission
Almost all financial aid begins with your filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

This form is required for all Federal Student Loans and many college aid programs. You can file the FAFSA form starting in January for the upcoming Fall academic year.

What you will need to file:

  • tax returns
  • W-2 forms
  • bank statements
  • Social Security and VA Benefits, if any

Visit our FAFSA File for Information and Links

Check with Your Financial Aid Office
Your school's financial aid office is the control center for student financial aid.

Our Financial Aid Notes has a quick review of the financial aid process:
how the financial aid process works

Talk with your college's financial aid office to see how they can help.

Connect to your schools web site for information.
link to: college search directory

Search for Scholarship Money
Scholarship awards can go fast, so start early — usually in the Fall prior to the start of your college year.

Check your field of study, ethnic background, social and religious affiliations, parent's employment, family club memberships, and local businesses and clubs:

over $24.3 billion
worth of scholarships and grants in one location

view sample report

Learn About Student Stafford Loans
Student loans are the most widely form of financial aid. These loans are backed by the Federal Government to guarantee low-interest rate loans.

View complete information:
Go to Federal Student Loans

View our Summary Loan Chart of available student loans

See How Parents Can Help
Parents of undergraduate students can assist with their child's education by applying for the Federal PLUS loans.

We have information about PLUS loans:
View PLUS Loans

View our Summary Loan Chart of available student loans

Private Loans and Other Alternative Financing
Most awarded financial aid does not cover the full cost of education. Many students are turning to private education loans and other alternative financing to finance their education.

See what Private Loans are available:
View Private Loans

Additional information about home equity and alternative financing:
View Alternative Financing

View our Summary Loan Chart of available student loans

Finding the Right Lender
When its time to submit your application for Federal and Private Education financing, our lending partner can process your application quickly for Stafford, PLUS, and Private Education Loans.

Apply for Financial Aid: click here

Building Your Credit
Starting school brings on many new responsibilities like building a strong credit report and managing your credit payments. This will benefit you in the future for:

  • buying a home
  • finding a good career
  • keeping lending costs down
  • perhaps starting a business

We have complete credit and debt management tips including budgeting monthly expenses:
Link to our Credit Management Center

Saving for College
Though it might be too late for the upcoming student, it is not too late for the other children in your family — or even yourself if your plans have yourself returning to school.

There are some interest savings strategies that can benefit you.

For detailed information:
Link to our College Savings Center

Consolidating Student Loans
Don't forget that when you graduate from school, you can consolidate your federal loans into one single billing at repayment terms that fit your budget.

For detailed information:
View our Student Consolidation Center