5 Tips for Applying for Financial Aid for College

Posted by Greater Midwest Financial Group on Feb 22, 2022 3:02:00 PM

a person walking on a college campus

Financial aid is a useful resource that has been helping people pay for college for years, but there are some important things to know.

Along with tuition, there are many other requirements and fees that you’ll need to be aware of when applying for financial aid. It can be a tough thing to tackle on your own, so we’re going to give you some helpful tips to make applying for financial aid a little bit easier.

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5 Tips for Applying for Financial Aid for College

Here are some useful tips to help you when applying for financial aid.

1. There’s another source of financial aid other than the FAFSA

FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a document that most people know about. However, there is a document called the CSS Profile in addition to the FAFSA.

This form is used by many private colleges, and they require you to submit this file to be considered for school-based scholarships. While the CSS Profile does require a fee to submit, you may be eligible for a fee waiver. Nerd Wallet has more details on how to apply for the CSS Profile fee waiver.

2. You don’t have to wait for tax season to submit the FAFSA

One common misconception is that you need to wait until tax season to submit your FAFSA. If it’s not tax season, you are still able to apply for FAFSA. You can use your family’s prior-year tax information to complete the form.

This means that you won’t have to file a tax return early or estimate any tax information on the form, you can submit the form whenever it’s most convenient for you.

3. Ask about school-based scholarships

In addition to completing your FAFSA and other financial aid forms, you should reach out directly to your school(s) of choice for any scholarships. Most schools have scholarships available, but they are not necessarily front-and-center when applying and they often require students to fill out additional information to apply for them.

Don’t miss out on these easy sources of financial assistance – contact the school’s financial aid office and ask about all scholarships. Depending on the school, there may be deadlines to fill these out, so make sure that you’re keeping an eye out for those as well.

4. A financial advisor can help with your FAFSA and financial aid

There are many different resources that you can use to help you plan for college. A financial advisor is an excellent resource you can tap into for financial planning. Not only can they help with budgeting, but they can also help with the actual application process for FAFSA and other aid sources.

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5. You can pay tuition in installments

Another tip to keep in mind while planning is that you can break up your tuition into more manageable installments instead of paying it all in one go. Most schools offer monthly payment plans. These tend to be a little easier for families to manage with their other household payments.

Applying for financial aid doesn’t have to be scary, and you don’t have to do it alone. If you need any support or questions in the college planning process, you can always reach out to a trusted financial advisor for extra help.

Our financial advisors at Greater Midwest Financial Group are committed to helping you balance your present and future finances so you can live comfortably and confidently well into the future.

Contact a Financial Planner

If you’re planning for college, don’t be afraid. There are many avenues you can take to save yourself money, time, and stress during your college planning process.

Greater Midwest Financial Group is a financial advisor firm serving St. Paul, Minneapolis and the wider Twin Cities area. We specialize in wealth management, retirement planning, asset management and other personal finance needs.

Greater Midwest Financial Group is a financial advisory firm serving St. Paul, Minneapolis, and the wider Twin Cities area. We specialize in wealth management, retirement planning, asset management, and other personal finance needs.

Topics: financial advisor, college