Financing a college education can be an overwhelming task. If you type in "college financial aid" in a search engine, you get 54,200,000 hits. So where do you begin? This section will provide you with links to high quality, comprehensive information in order to help you make the best possible decisions for financing your college education. Click on Financial Aid Offices for a link to financial aid offices on each of the 21 WNY colleges and universities.
College.gov: college.gov is built by the US Department of Education (USDE) in collaboration with students. This site is intended to be the go-to source for information and resources about planning, preparing and paying for college. In building this site, the USDE asked students what information was most useful as they look ahead toward college. Over time, this site will continue to evolve, and you can help influence that process by visiting the feedback page to submit questions, suggestions and feedback.
Local opportunities for learning about the college financial aid system: If you are a current high school student, you will likely have an opportunity to attend a "financial aid session" at your high school. Take advantage of this opportunity! It's designed specifically for you and will likely provide you with important information on local colleges and universities and accessing financial aid.
US Department of Education Loan Programs Fact Sheet: This fact sheet will provide you with information on:
- What is a federal student loan?
- What is a private student loan?
- Why are Federal student loans a better option for paying for college?
- What kinds of federal student loans are available?
- FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid: Okay, there are a ton of web sites committed to helping you out with the FAFSA. However, it is strongly recommended that you go right to the source and take advantage of this user friendly site at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. This is the US Department of Education's site designed to make completing the FAFSA as easy as possible. For more information, click on The Top 18 Questions asked about the FASFA.
- IMPORTANT Application Deadlines: The FAFSA is the federal application for financial aid, but it is also used to apply for aid from other sources, such as your state or school.
TIP #1: The deadlines for different states or schools may be different from the federal deadlines and you may be required to complete additional forms.
Federal Student Financial Aid Deadlines & State Student Financial Aid Deadlines Check with your high school guidance counselor or a financial aid administrator at your school about state and school sources of student aid.Also, you can use the FAFSA4caster will help you understand your options for paying for college. Finally, for more information, click on funding beyond high school.
TIP #2: Make sure that the colleges and universities you are applying to do not require financial aid forms in addition to your FAFSA!!!
College Cost Calculator: Use this calculator on the College Board web site to see how much college will cost by the time you enroll. If you have a particular college in mind, you can project from actual costs. If you don't, just use the average costs provided.
Visit The Simple Dollar for information guiding personal financial and debt management as you navigate the college financial aid process. The Simple Dollar is a place where anyone can come to acquire financial information on finding the best products and services, saving money, making smart investments, and controlling personal finances.
For additional Information, click here to read the article "Guidelines for Submitting FAFSA Forms."