Five Steps To Apply For Financial Aid

iStudent Blog

Published: June 13, 2018 by Priscilla Ameneyro

Many students are worried about how to pay for their program. Most people qualify for some form of financial aid, you just have to take the time to apply for it. Thankfully, the process is pretty streamlined and once you’ve read this article you should be confident navigating the world of student loans. There’s still time to submit your application for 2018-2019 funding; the deadline is at the end of this month, June 30. If you’ve been dragging your feet, now is the time to take action by reading this blog post and getting your application completed before it’s too late!

U.S. based students should get familiar with FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Start the process as early as you can because it can take weeks to process your application.

Create an FSA ID
Before you do anything, create an FSA ID which allows you to sign your FAFSA form electronically, simplifying the process. 

Gather Documents
Next, gather the documents you will need to complete the FAFSA form. The SJSU Financial Aid and Scholarship Office created this checklist of documents and information you may need for filling out the FAFSA.

Fill out the Form
According to the Federal Student Aid website, the form takes an average of 30 minutes to fill out. This detailed guide will walk you through each question.

Sign and Submit
Make sure you sign your form with the FSA ID you created in step one and look out for a confirmation page in your email.

Next Steps
Once you’ve submitted your form, there are a few other things you need to do to before you receive any financial aid. Educate yourself about the next steps to prevent any issues or delays.

Applying for financial aid shouldn’t be scary or confusing, there are lots of free help resources on the FAFSA website if you get stuck. Even if you think you don’t qualify or won’t need financial aid, it’s a good idea to fill out the form anyway because you never know if your situation might change. Just a friendly reminder that I’m not a qualified financial professional, the content contained in this article is for educational purposes only and you should seek professional expertise for your individual situation. I urge you to think carefully about how much you need to borrow and be realistic about the salary you are likely to have once you graduate. Consider alternative ways to fund your education like scholarships or working while you study.

While we’re on the subject, check out these other posts related to student finances:

Tips for Paying Back Your Student Loans Faster

Tax Benefits for Students: How to Max Out Your Tax Return

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