If you plan to use federal aid (federal grants and/or federal loans) to fund your educational expenses next year, it is imperative
that you stay ahead of the game and apply early. A significant amount of aid is given on a first-come first-served
basis. File your FAFSA form as soon as possible after January 1 each academic year to get a jump start on federal financial aid.
And remember, students with federal financial aid are often eligible for work-study programs, if their college or university offers one. These programs allow a school to create campus based employment programs for students and are great opportunities to assist you in covering your expenses during school, and saving for the future. Research the work-study options your school offers early so that you may apply for the job that best suits you.
Federal financial aid is based on financial need and is available to students as a supplement to their personal resources.
Loans are provided through the Department of Education and the Federal Direct Student Loan Program. In order to apply for
federal loans, you need to fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Form. Completing the
FAFSA will not only pave the way for your federal loan applications, but also will allow you to apply for additional state
and institutional aid in the form of grants and scholarships.
Once your award letter is received, you can begin applying for loans. There are a few types of federal loans you may be eligible for.
Find out even more about applying for federal student aid in our expert advice articles.