Lifestyle Read Time: 3 min

Financial Aid for Students 101

Preparing for college while still in high school can be difficult for even the most academically minded student. These days, you need to excel in the classroom, make sure you’re involved in extracurricular activities, and enroll in challenging classes to impress a college admissions board. On top of that, the financial cost of higher education may add to what is already a stressful time in an ambitious student’s life. Luckily, with a little preparation, you may be able to make applying for financial aid painless and stress free. Read on to learn more.

Standardized testing matters

Every October, second and third-year high school students can take the Preliminary SAT (PSAT), also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). Even if they won’t need to take the SAT for college, taking the PSAT/NMSQT is required for many scholarships, such as the National Merit Scholarship.1

Looking forward to the spring of their junior year, college-bound students will want to take the SAT or ACT. An early test date may allow time for repeating the test their senior year, if necessary. No matter how many times your child takes the test, most colleges will only look at the best score.

A Fresh FAFSA

“The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the single-most important form you need in order to secure financial aid from the federal government.”

Each year, roughly 13 million students file their FAFSA and receive a combined total of more than $120 billion in grants, work study, and low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Education. Recent changes to the FAFSA website have streamlined the application process, but some preparation before you sit down to submit your FAFSA can make it even easier. Make sure you gather all the information you can regarding your and your family’s finances. Pausing now to make sure those documents are close at hand can save both time and frustration later on.2

scholarship application on a desk

Don’t forget about "gift aid"

Grants and scholarships are often called “gift aid” because they are free money – financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid. College-bound students can learn about grants and scholarships in several ways, but the most-effective strategy starts with contacting the financial aid office at the college or university you plan to attend. Doing your own research can also be an effective strategy, but be careful: scholarship and grant scams are plentiful.3

1. CollegeData.com, 2021
2. StudentAid.gov, 2021
3. StudentAid.gov, 2021

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

An Overview of Renter’s Insurance

An Overview of Renter’s Insurance

Don’t overlook the need for renter’s insurance if you rent your home.

Planning Your Legacy

Planning Your Legacy

Legacy or estate planning is part of good retirement planning. Here are a few things to consider when working on your plan.

Social Security: The Elephant in the Room

Social Security: The Elephant in the Room

Some people wonder if Social Security will remain financially sound enough to pay the benefits they are owed.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Think of Retirement in Terms of Monthly Income

When you think of planning for retirement, like most individuals, you probably visualize a number. The reality is that most individuals think in terms of an account balance at retirement.

Be My Beneficiary

Financial planning for couples.

How to Make the Tax Code Work for You

When you take the time to learn more about how it works, you may be able to put the tax code to work for you.

View all articles

Annuity Comparison

This calculator compares a hypothetical fixed annuity with an account where the interest is taxed each year.

Paying Off a Credit Card

Enter various payment options and determine how long it may take to pay off a credit card.

What Is My Risk Tolerance?

This questionnaire will help determine your tolerance for investment risk.

View all calculators

Long-Term-Care Protection Strategies

The chances of needing long-term care, its cost, and strategies for covering that cost.

Your Cash Flow Statement

A presentation about managing money: using it, saving it, and even getting credit.

Managing Your Lifestyle

Using smart management to get more of what you want and free up assets to invest.

View all presentations

Leaving Your Lasting Legacy

Want to do more with your wealth? You might want to consider creating a charitable foundation.

The Latte Lie and Other Myths

Check out this video to begin separating fact from fiction.

Encore Careers: Push Your Boundaries

Ready for retirement? Find out why many are considering encore careers and push your boundaries into something more, here.

View all videos