Late last year it became quite apparent that it was time for me to cover the costs for my college degree. My parents had been helping before, but I’m an adult now, and I wanted to earn my degree with my own paycheck. Financial independence in mind, I decided it was time to meet with the financial aid office.
The first step towards paying for college seemed like visiting the financial aid office, or that’s what I figured, anyway. I began my journey by looking into single mothers grants for opportunities to reduce my expenses, and learned quite a bit. I couldn’t find the office myself, but a campus map helped – and it turns out, I’d be walking blindly past it every day. This whole process of financial aid seemed like it would be a lot easier with a guidebook.
My life would have been made significantly easier if I had a guidebook for the financial aid process. Unfortunately, I didn’t. Fortunately, I can make one for you. First step is contacting the financial aid office – it’s the right place to get started because they can inform you about everything you need to know.
One of the most important things I did before heading to my financial aid office was checked online to see what forms and paperwork I needed to bring with me. At the time, I had to prove my state residency and the fact that I was married. Your own requirements might be different, but it’s still important to have the right paperwork so you don’t have to make multiple trips. When you are online, be sure to look up online degree grant for opportunities you should be aware of.
Speaking of visiting the financial aid office, if you can, make an appointment instead of just dropping by. The lines for the financial aid office can often be insanely long, so if you’re planning on visiting impromptu, your wait could last awhile. If you can’t make an appointment, try to show up as early as you can – five minutes before the office opens is usually a safe bet.
Besides making an appointment and having your paperwork in order, you have to go into this knowing that the financial aid office is going to request certain financial information from you. They have to see if you qualify for free financial aid or if you’re better suited for something like a student loan. Fortunately, there’s actually a form you can fill out beforehand that will minimize the complications that could come along with that process.
This form is actually an application called the FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s designed to take roughly an hour to complete, and it asks you a myriad of questions. You’re going to need to have your latest tax return handy, and be ready for it to delve into the personals about your bank account. However, filling it out immediately makes your visit to the financial aid office far less complicated. Take the time to get your FAFSA in order before you visit the financial aid office.
As long as you have yourself under control (and your paperwork in order), visiting the financial aid office should only be painful because you’re up early. Get the process started today, and find out how successful you can be at finding help in paying for school! Visit Education Connection to see how online degrees can save you additional money.