How to get more financial aid for college

The Covid-19 pandemic and economic downturn that followed made it even more difficult for many students and their parents to afford college just as costs went up.

Tuition and fees plus room and board for a four-year private college averaged $50,770 in the 2020-21 school year; at four-year, in-state public colleges, it was $22,180, according to the College Board, which tracks trends in college pricing and student aid.

Now, in order to obtain a four-year degree, nearly all students rely on some sort of financial aid.

More from Personal Finance:
Families massively underestimate cost of college
Student loan forgiveness is still up in the air
Fewer students are going to college because of the cost

“Financial aid is becoming a larger piece of the college admissions puzzle, as tuition costs continue to rise,” said Marnix Broer, co-founder and CEO of EdTech platform StuDocu.

“Many students are choosing a college based on where they can afford, so it's more important than ever for students to understand their options when it comes to where the best financial aid may be available for them.” 

That's where the Free Application for Federal Student Aid comes in. Students must fill out the FAFSA to access any kind of assistance, including scholarships and grants, work-study and loans.

For the 2021-2022 school year, the FAFSA filing season opens Friday, Oct. 1 — and the sooner students file, the better.

Some financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, or from programs with limited funds.

The earlier families fill out the FAFSA, the better their chances are to receive aid, according to Manny Chagas, vice president of Discover Student Loans.

“Applying early can give families opportunities for federal, state and institutional aid like grants and scholarships,” he said.  

“The FAFSA opens the door to various types of funding opportunities; it's not just federal aid.”

The FAFSA opens the door to various types of funding opportunities; it's not just federal aid.
Manny Chagas
vice president of Discover Student Loans

The Department of Education awards about $120 billion every year to help students pay for higher education. Any beyond federal aid, you could also be eligible for financial assistance from your state or college.

In fact, while the amount of federal aid has declined slightly, state and institutional funds have increased significantly over the last decade, according to the latest data from the College Board.

Yet “there's a finite amount of aid,” said Joe DePaulo, co-founder and CEO of College Ave Student Loans. That's why applying “early is absolutely helpful.”

“Especially with state aid, those funds are there until they are depleted,” added Sallie Mae spokesman Rick Castellano.

“Getting in line for aid is extremely important especially when a good chunk of it is first come, first served.”

The pandemic has accelerated the problem of affordability. Still, more families skip the FAFSA year after year.

Last year, just 68% of families applied — a record low, according to Sallie Mae.

Among those who don't apply, most say it's because they didn't think they will qualify, studies show. In fact, 86% of first-time, full-time students at public four-year colleges were granted aid, Discover Student Loans found. 

“Just about everyone is going to qualify for something,” Castellano said.

Just about everyone is going to qualify for something.
Rick Castellano
spokesman for Sallie Mae

Many factors, not just income, go into determining how much aid students receive, DePaulo added, including the total number of people in the household and the number of children in college, as well as other financial commitments such as a home equity loan or child support payments.

Families also say the application process, itself, is another hurdle.

However, experts say you can complete the FAFSA form online at fafsa.gov or on the myStudentAid app in less than an hour, particularly if you have your paperwork, including W-2s and last year's tax return, on hand. (Sallie Mae also has a free online FAFSA tool to help families navigate the process.)

“For most families, it takes about 30 minutes,” Chagas said.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Investors cash in on pandemic pet boom

George Parrett had wanted a dog for years but the timing never seemed right. While the 33-year-old commuted from Tunbridge Wells to London for a job in public relations, his ... Read more »

IMM Private Equity inks deal to buy stake in Hanssem for W1.45tr

A headquarters building of Hanssem in Seoul. (Hanssem)IMM Private Equity said Monday it has signed a binding term to become the largest shareholder of South Korean kitchen and interior furniture ... Read more »

Budget 2021: The NINE taxes Rishi could inflict on YOU

The Autumn Budget 2021 will be delivered on Wednesday, October 27, and given the huge financial and human cost of the Covid pandemic sweeping changes are expected across many areas ... Read more »

As Britons adopt fintech what will become of those left behind?

© Provided by This Is Money MailOnline logo Britons are increasingly using online banking, money apps and contactless cards, a comprehensive survey shows. Fintech use and adoption has risen in ... Read more »

Nivesh ties up with distributors to expand presence in India's Tier-II & III cities

Nivesh, a digital-first platform, on Monday announced that it has witnessed 100% growth in investments from tier-II and tier-III cities and has tied up with individual distributors in more than ... Read more »

There's a chance China might finally put taxes on property

Vehicles drive by unfinished residential buildings from the Evergrande Oasis, a housing complex developed by Evergrande Group, in Luoyang, China September 16, 2021.Carlos Garcia Rawlins | Reuters BEIJING — China ... Read more »

Rishi Sunak's top 7 Budget tax targets - which one will hurt YOU most?

Victoria Scholar, head of investment at wealth platform Interactive International, said Sunak has to balance the books after spending more than £108 billion over the last 12 months, lifting total ... Read more »

S. Korea ranks 4th in ‘relative poverty' among 38 OECD members

Pedestrians cross a street near Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul on Oct. 20. (Yonhap)South Korea ranked No. 4 among 38 global economies in terms of the percentage of its population living ... Read more »

(2nd LD) Citibank Korea to close retail banking 'in phases'

(ATTN: ADDS more info at bottom) SEOUL, Oct. 25 (Yonhap) — Citibank Korea Inc., the Korean unit of U.S. banking giant Citigroup, said Monday it will close its retail banking ... Read more »

HSBC is set to report third-quarter earnings today. Here's what to expect

HSBC building in the Canary Wharf district of London, U.K.Leon Neal | AFP | Getty Images HSBC is scheduled to release its financial report card for the third quarter at ... Read more »

(LEAD) Citibank Korea to close retail banking 'in phases'

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with Citibank Korea’s official announcement) SEOUL, Oct. 25 (Yonhap) — Citibank Korea Inc., the Korean unit of U.S. banking giant Citigroup, said Monday that it will close ... Read more »

Citibank Korea to close retail banking 'in phases'

SEOUL, Oct. 25 (Yonhap) — Citibank Korea Inc., the Korean unit of U.S. banking giant Citigroup, said Monday that it will close its retail banking services “in phases” in line ... Read more »

Rishi Sunak to hand NHS £6bn to tackle waiting lists and boost tech

A £5.9bn billion package aimed at tackling NHS waiting lists in England will form part of chancellor Rishi Sunak’s autumn Budget, the Treasury has said. © PA Chancellor Rishi Sunak ... Read more »

Triple lock scrap: Retirees £208 worse off - plot launched to overturn devastating drop

The Liberal Democrats are this week launching a bid to ensure pensioners are not crippled by financial difficulties next year. The cost of living crisis currently engulfing the UK is ... Read more »

People living in poverty ‘hit harder by gas and electricity bills', new data shows

Poorer households have been found to pay as much as 50 per cent more on their energy bills than those with more money, according to data analysed by the Labour ... Read more »

Dow futures fall 100 points after the blue-chip average notches third winning week in a row

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on October 15, 2021 in New York City.Spencer Platt | Getty Images Stock futures edged lower in overnight ... Read more »

'Buckle your seatbelts' because earnings will start to disappoint, long-term bull Art Hogan warns

Earnings season may turn an ugly corner. Long-term bull Art Hogan warns a storm of disappointing corporate guidance and missed revenue targets is ahead. “Buckle your seatbelts,” the National Securities' ... Read more »

What the first bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund means for the cryptocurrency industry

The value of Bitcoin (BTC) has exceeded the threshold of 66,895 dollars for the first time in his history. Chesnot | Getty Images This week marked a milestone for cryptocurrency ... Read more »

Rishi Sunak shares the 'big difference' between a National Insurance and Income Tax hike

Earlier this year, the Government announced that National Insurance payments for workers and employers would be temporarily increased by 1.25 percent, prior to a new 1.25 percent Health and Social ... Read more »

Lending caps on NBFCs may offer big opportunities to small players

New lending caps on NBFCs against funding initial share sales may throw up big opportunities for small players in last-mile financing. Many smaller NBFCs are likely to enter the estimated ... Read more »

Interest rates may be rising soon. Will your finances stand the strain?

The era of rock-bottom interest rates could soon be at an end. Expectations are growing that the Bank of England could raise rates as early as next month to tackle ... Read more »

[ESG Talk] Overseeing ESG risks in supply chain: procurement with a purpose

Bae, Kim & Lee expert adviser Lee Yeon-woo (Bae, Kim & Lee)In 2022, an area that is likely to strain companies’ transition toward a resilient, sustainable economy is the ESG ... Read more »

[Market Eye] Record-breaking year expected for banking groups; financial stocks, maybe

A citizen passes by a row of automated teller machines in central Seoul on Oct. 4. (Yonhap)Bank stocks in South Korea have long been regarded as an unappealing option for ... Read more »

Bumpy road lies ahead of top bidder to take over SsangYong Motor

Sports utility vehicle All-New Rexton’s special brand “Master” (SsangYong Motor)A new shareholder group led by South Korea’s electric bus manufacturer Edison Motors has unveiled its capital procurement plan for its ... Read more »

S. Korea alarmed by surging fuel prices, inflationary pressure

A gas station in Seoul shows a gasoline price of 1,843 won ($1.56) per liter on Sunday. The average nationwide gasoline price gained 45.2 won to 1,732.4 won in the ... Read more »

Inheritance Tax: Britons 'most hated tax' hits families as HMRC receipts rise by £700m

HMRC released data recently which showed £3.1billion was paid by families through Inheritance Tax (IHT) between April and September, an increase of £700million on the same period in 2020. Unfortunately, ... Read more »

Bitcoin is the new GOLD - $100,000 crypto is haven from inflation and stock market crash

The latest Bitcoin resurgence has seen its value has double since it slumped to around $30,000 just three months ago, in mid-July. Many investors will be kicking themselves for missing ... Read more »

S. Korea's seaport cargo up 8.1% in Q3 amid global rebound

This file photo shows ships carrying containers docked at a port in South Korea’s southeastern city of Busan. (Yonhap)Cargo processed at South Korean seaports advanced 8.1 percent in the third ... Read more »

‘I shaved 9 years off my mortgage': Simple way finance expert took his family to loan free

© THE HUMBLE PENNY/GETTY Ken Okoroafor of The Humble Penny Ken Okoroafor is a financial expert who managed to become financially free by just 34. During the pandemic, he was ... Read more »

Self Assessment guidance issued as deadline nears & a 'lumpy tax burden' hits freelancers

Self Assessment paper returns must be completed by October 31, while online returns must be done by January 31, 2022. Despite there still being time to act, new research from ... Read more »

Razorpay launches tokenisation solution in partnership with Mastercard, RuPay and Visa

Fintech firm Razorpay on Friday announced a new a tokenisation solution for businesses that will allow their end-customers to have the convenience of saved card transactions with added security and ... Read more »

Chancellor unveils multi-billion pound spending pledges ahead of budget

The chancellor has announced a series of spending pledges ahead of the autumn budget this week, which include £5bn for health research and innovation and £3bn for education. © Imagebridge ... Read more »

Labour calls for VAT cut on energy bills ‘to see people through the winter'

Labour is calling for a VAT cut on domestic energy bills to help tackle a looming cost of living crisis. © Eddie Mulholland Rachel Reeves said a VAT cut would ... Read more »

Scrap hated EU VAT on energy bills and save Brits £1.6billion, says Labour

© Getty Woman worried about bills and smart meter The demand by shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves would be worth £1.6billion according to HMRC figures. It comes amid growing concerns of ... Read more »

Retirement for UK women one of the shortest in Europe - Will state pension age be lowered?

Four out of five of the European countries studied provided a longer retirement for women than the UK. Britain was also one of the top 10 countries in terms of ... Read more »

First-time buyers will borrow a record £10billion from Mum and Dad

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo First-time buyers will borrow a record £10 billion from the Bank of Mum and Dad this year to get on the property ladder. ... Read more »

Rishi Sunak prepares for autumn budget announcement

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo With the autumn budget and spending review coming up, Chancellor Rishi Sunak met with some of the young families who are set to ... Read more »

Pension warning: DWP to introduce ‘green' climate change measures on retirement pots

Earlier this week, the DWP made it mandatory for pension schemes to publish a metric showing how ‘green’ their investments really are. According to the department’s latest climate and investment ... Read more »

Sub-1pc mortgage deals will ‘disappear in the next month'

Homeowners have been urged to take advantage of sub-1pc mortgage rates, as experts believe they will completely disappear in the next month. © Provided by The Telegraph Houses in south ... Read more »

Government pledges £65m ‘lifeline' to help vulnerable renters in arrears in England

Vulnerable renters who have fallen into arrears during the pandemic will be helped with a £65m support package this winter, the government has announced. The funding will be given to ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic