Financing your college education can feel like a daunting task surrounded in anxiety. However, there is no reason to worry; there are plenty of people available to help you through the process. The important consideration to start is finding the on-ramp to the financial aid highway. From there just follow the signs to your destination.
The below presentation is meant as your on-ramp. It illustrates key considerations and directs you to the resources that will guide you on the way to graduation.
For additional information on the financial aid process please review the "How to Fill out a FAFSA", "After You've Completed the FAFSA", "Types of Student Aid", "Responsible Borrowing".
Source: Federal Student Aid
This video discusses 10 consideratons for applying for financial aid and how to make the process more efficient and productive.
Financial Aid Calculator: https://www.aidcalc.com/efc.aspx
This tool is intended to provide general guidance in planning your education financing. Calculations are based on a student entering in 2012-2013 academic year. It also gives an estimate of your eligibility for the Federal Pell grant and the Federal Direct Student Loan.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid): http://www.fafsa.gov/
In order to apply for federal student aid, you need to complete the FAFSA. It is free and gives you access to the largest source of financial aid for college.
Big Futures: Scholarship Search: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/scholarship-search
College Board conducts an annual survey of Financial Aid programs and presents the finding through a searchable database. The available scholarships, grants, and other financing options come from over 2,200 programs, totaling nearly $6 Billion.
College Grants Database: http://www.collegegrant.net/
There are thousands of grants that possibly allow you to finance a portion of your education without having to pay back the gift. The College Grants Database shows you were to look for college grant money and add some tips on about navigating the application process.
Sallie Mae: https://www.salliemae.com/
Sallie Mae is the largest financial services company specializing in education. Sallie Mae serves over 25 million customers and manages $234 billion in student loans. This site will give you a good overview and provide examples of the many private financing options a student has for college.