This is part of a sponsored collaboration with The College Board and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
This past year something very exciting happened, my daughter who'd already graduated a few years ago started college. Big sigh of relief! When she graduated it had always been the plan that she would continue her education, but soon time began to pass and there were moments that I wasn't sure when and if she would ever go back. Fortunately, this was the year that she decided it was time and we began the process of looking into financial aid to help her pay for school.
One call to the school and we were told to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In fact, they told us to fill that out ASAP and before doing anything else so that the application would start to process while she got everything else figured out. Filling out the FAFSA application was one of the easier parts of the entire college registration process, she filled that out one night using our most recent tax returns as she watched tv and looked into class schedules. Picking classes around her work schedule was another story altogether. She kept worrying that she would have to work more hours in order to help pay for: classes, the very expensive books her courses require, a new computer and other school supplies she would need. It wasn't until her FAFSA application was approved that she was able to relax a little knowing that she would have that precious financial aid to help her through the next four years.
In a few weeks my daughter will be done with her first semester of college and I must say that she got right into the groove of college life easy enough. In the beginning she was really nervous about being back in school with her peers, and really scared about the financial burden it would take on us. But with all A's and B's in her classes and a newfound love of learning, she's going to breeze right through the next four years and come out so much better for it.
How To Get Help #PayingForCollege
- Filing your FAFSA as early as possible is a good idea. You can get a jump on other financial aid applications (state or institutional aid) that may have early deadlines.
- Before you apply, you’ll need to create a FSA ID and collect the documents you need to get started.
- The FAFSA is available online at FAFSA
- To learn more about paying for college, including finding scholarships visit BigFuture or download the CollegeGo app.
- Students can use BigFuture to search for and compare colleges, find scholarships, understand financial aid, navigate the college application process from start to finish, and receive personalized deadline reminders, tips, and guidance along the way.
- The CollegeGo mobile app guides students through the essential steps in the college application process with an interactive interface that uses game, video, and search features to help students plan their college journeys.
- The College Board has also created Spanish language resources for parents and families to help their children plan for college.
Take the first step. Complete the FAFSA today and visit fafsa.gov for information and important resources!