If you’re a high school student or parent of a high school student, you probably know that February is an important month to apply for financial aid and scholarships, but that’s also true for anyone thinking about attending college this fall. Last year 59% of UHMC students qualified for and received some kind of financial aid, with over $9 million awarded in scholarships and grants. Here are some tips to get you started.
FAFSA isn’t just for High School students. UHMC student Lorelei Estrada-Cachola is a single mother with two daughters of her own, one who is now applying to colleges. Lorelei’s financial aid award helps cover her tuition and provides enough so she doesn’t have to work full-time. “People think it’s a lot of work filling out the application, but it’s all online now and last time it took me about thirty minutes. If I didn’t have financial aid, I wouldn’t be able to go to school, so that half hour was definitely worth it.”
Make sure you fill out your FAFSA. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it’s used to determine the amount of money a family (or student) is expected to contribute to the price of attending a postsecondary institution. It’s free to apply at the official website www.fafsa.gov, although you’ll find plenty of websites that charge for assistance. Just know that if you apply on the official www.fafsa.gov site, it’s free. Awards take the form of grants (such as Pell Grants), work-study programs and loans (such as Federal Stafford and Parent PLUS loans). A grant is aid that a student doesn’t have to pay back, an opportunity too many students miss by not applying. A recent Washington Post article, […]