Also, there is a big fat book at most larger libraries full of Free Money - GRANTS (along with eligibility requirements, etc.) offered by individuals, foundations, philantropists, etc. It is not a book you can check out of the library, but you have to go THERE to read it. I forget the exact name of it, so just ask the Information Desk. Call ahead to make sure your library has it. Take a pen and paper because it is a huge book. I looked at it back around '93 or so. Maybe the libraries have it online now???
Below is more info from the FAFSA site which I had copied for my friend whose daughter will be going to college come 2003-2004.. Merely FYI and/or for any future prospective students who may visit here at the forum!
Much success to you!
Discover Your Opportunities! < http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/>;
U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid
FAFSA opens the door to the federal aid process. Every step you can take gets you closer to achieving your education goals. Find out what you can expect from beginning to end. Starting here.
(EVERYTHING you need to know, How-To Instructions Step-By-Step, Piece of Cake! Great site!)
FAFSA Site Map < http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/map.htm>;
Discover Your Opportunities
* Does Your School Qualify?
* Why Fill Out the FAFSA?
* What Are Your FAFSA Results?
* When Will You Get Your FAFSA Results?
* What is a SAR? EFC? DRN?
SAR = Student Aid Result
EFC = Expected Financial Contribution (from family)
DRN = don't know yet...
* How Do You Receive Financial Aid?
* Federal Student Aid Programs
* State/School Programs
* Customer Quotes
* Site Awards
* Discover Your Opportunities FAQs
Before Beginning a FAFSA
* General Student Aid Info
* Documents Needed
* Pre-Application Worksheet
* Drug Conviction Worksheet
* Interactive Worksheets
* Signatures Required
* Your PIN
* Time to Complete
* Student Eligibility
* Federal School Code Search
* Browser Requirements
* Clearing Your Browser's Cache
* Before Beginning a FAFSA FAQs
Filling out a FAFSA
* Pre-Application Worksheet
* Fill Out Your FAFSA
* Fill Out a Renewal FAFSA
* Fill Out a Spanish FAFSA
* Open Your Saved FAFSA
* Provide Electronic Signature
* Make Corrections
* Register for Your PIN
* Forgot Your PIN?
* Forgot Your Password?
* Browser Requirements
* Filling out a FAFSA FAQs
* Check Status
* Print SAR
* Student Access
* Register for Your PIN
* Forgot Your PIN?
* FAFSA Follow-up FAQs
* 2002-2003 Student Aid Info
* Before You Begin FAFSA on the Web
* Accessing FAFSA on the Web from a Network
* Navigating within FAFSA on the Web
* Saving Your FAFSA Application
* Opening a Saved Application
* Reapplying for Federal Student Aid
* Web Applications
* How to Use Screen Reader Software
* What happens next?
* How We Determine Your Dependency Status
* Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
* Checking Your Application's Status
* Special Instructions
* Questions about You
* Questions about Your School plans
* Questions about Your Finances
* Questions about Your Household
* Questions about Your Parent(s)
* Your College(s)
* Preparer Info
* Unusual Circumstances
* Signature Page
* Electronic Signatures
* Signing Your FAFSA Electronically
* Singing Your FAFSA with a Signature Page
* Privacy & Security
* Applying for Aid
* Using FAFSA on the Web
* Using Corrections on the Web
* Check Status
* Federal School Code Search
* What is the difference...?
* Technical Questions
* Getting Help
* Recently Added FAQs
Deadlines: Submit 2001-2002 Corrections on the Web forms by midnight Central time, August 16, 2002
Scheduled Maintenance: FAFSA on the Web will be unavailable on every Sunday from 5a.m. to 11a.m. (Eastern Standard Time). We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Why Fill Out a FAFSA? < http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/what002.htm>;
To apply for federal student financial aid, and to apply for many state student aid programs, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The information you provide on your FAFSA determines if you are eligible for financial aid.
What are the benefits of using FAFSA on the Web?
The following are several good reasons why you should consider using FAFSA on the Web:
* FAFSA on the Web is faster than applying for aid by paper.
* FAFSA on the Web uses skip logic based on your particular information, so you will need to answer fewer questions than on the paper application.
* FAFSA on the Web checks your answers before you submit your application, so there is less chance your application will be rejected because of missing or conflicting information.
* You can save application information so that it can be completed and transmitted at a later time.
* FAFSA on the Web can be used on Windows or Macintosh computers, using the most popular Netscape and Microsoft browser versions.
* FAFSA on the Web doesn't require software to be installed, so it takes less time before you can actually use the application.
* You can access FAFSA on the Web from anywhere, including school or home, making it more convenient to complete the application.
* FAFSA on the Web can support an unlimited number of users, allowing thousands of students to apply at once.
Before Beginning a FAFSA Overview < http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/before001.htm>;
Time Saving Suggestions
Get documents you need
Start with your Social Security Number, driver's license, income tax return, bank statements and investment records.
Print a Pre-Application Worksheet
See a preview of the questions; dependent students can use it to help parents write in info at their convenience.
Plan how to sign your FAFSA
Electronically with a PIN; send a signature page in the mail; or a signed copy of your Student Aid Report.
Speed the process with your PIN
Sign your FAFSA electronically.
Establish your eligibility
Citizens, non-citizens; with high school diploma or GED; states may use your FAFSA to award additional aid from their programs.
Note important deadlines
We must receive your form no later than June 30, 2003, 8 p.m. EST. Colleges and states may have earlier deadlines.
Deadlines < http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/before003a.htm>;
In addition to the federal deadlines for filling out a FAFSA, you may also use the FAFSA to apply for aid from other sources, such as your state or college. The deadlines for states or colleges may differ from the federal deadlines and you may be required to complete additional forms.
* Federal Student Financial Aid Deadlines
* State Student Financial Aid Deadlines
* College Student Financial Aid Deadlines
Documents Needed < http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/before003.htm>;
You will need records of income earned in the year prior to when you will start school. You may also need records of your parent's income information if you are a dependent student.
For the 2003-2004 school year, you will need financial information from 2002. You will need to refer to:
* Your Social Security Number (can be found on Social Security card)
* Your driver's license (if any)
* Your W-2 Forms and other records of money earned
* Your (and your spouse's, if you are married) 2002 Federal Income Tax Return - IRS Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040Telefile, foreign tax return, or tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia
* Your parent's 2002 Federal Income Tax Return (if you are a dependent student)
* Your 2002 untaxed income records - Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare, or veterans benefits records
* Your 2002 bank statements
* Your 2002 business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond, and other investment records
* Your alien registration card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
In addition, you can display a non-submittable Pre-Application Worksheet for informational purposes.
Keep these records! You may need them again. Do not mail your records with your signature page.
General Student Aid Information < http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/before014.htm>;
What Does Your School Want You To Know?
We asked financial aid advisors from around the country what they would tell student filling out their FAFSAs. Here is what they said:
Read the form!
Many questions on the FAFSA are straightforward, like your Social Security Number or your date of birth. But many require you to read the instructions to make sure you answer the question correctly. Words like "household," "investments," and even "parent" all have common meanings, but are specifically defined for purposes of student financial aid. So be sure to read the instructions.
You may have unique family situations that may cause you to have additional questions. You shoud then contact a financial aid administrator at a school you wish to attend for clarification.
Deadlines for aid from your state, from your school, and from private sources tend to be much earlier than deadlines for federal aid. To make sure that any financial aid package your school offers you will contain aid from as many sources as possible, apply as soon as you can after January 1, 2003.
The U.S. Department of Education will process your 2002-2003 FAFSA right up until July 1, 2003. However, to actually receive aid, your school must have your correct, complete information before your last day of enrollment in the 2002-2003 school year. So it is important to apply early to make sure you leave enough time for your school to receive your information and to make any necessary corrections.
You don't need to file your tax return before you submit your FAFSA
Filling out your tax return first will make completing the FAFSA easier. However, you do not need to submit your tax return to the IRS before you submit your FAFSA.
You can file your FAFSA electronically
You can fill out and submit a FAFSA over the Internet. This is the fastest way to apply for financial aid. Also, your information is edited before you submit it so, if you made any errors or left out any information, we can call this to your attention before you submit your information. This reduces the chances that your data will be rejected for some reason and makes it less likely that you will have to correct your information later.
There may be additional forms
The FAFSA is the one application for federal student aid. Many schools and states rely solely upon this information. However, your school or state may require you to fill out additional forms. These additional forms may have deadlines that are earlier than the federal student aid deadlines, so be sure to check with the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend.
What is the FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is used to apply for federal student financial aid, including grants, loans, and work-study. In addition, it is used by most states and schools to award non-federal student financial aid.
How does it work?
Completing the FAFSA is the first step in the financial aid process. Once you submit it, we process your information. Then we send an electronic copy of your information to all of the schools you listed in Step Six. We send a paper report, called a Student Aid Report, or SAR, to you. It is important to review your SAR when you receive it to make sure all of your information is correct and to provide any necessary corrections or additional information.
We enter your information into a formula from the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and the result is your Expected Family Contribution, or EFC. This represents the amount your family is expected to contribute towards the cost of your education (although this amount may not exactly match the amount you and your family end up contributing). If your information is complete, your SAR will contain your EFC.
The schools you list on Step Six receive your EFC along with the rest of your information. They use the EFC to prepare a financial aid package to help you meet your financial need. Financial need is the difference between your EFC and your school's cost of attendance (which can include living expenses), as determined by the school. If you believe that you have special circumstances that should be taken into account, such as unusual medical or dental expenses or a significant change in income from one year to the next, contact the financial aid administrator at the schools to which you are applying.
Any financial aid you are eligible to receive will be paid to you through your school. Typically, your school will first use the aid to pay tuition, fees, and room and board (if provided by the school). Any remaining need is paid to you for your other expenses. You cannot receive aid from more than one school for the same period of enrollment.
You may receive a Federal Pell Grant from only one school for the same period of enrollment.
Where can I get more information?
The best place for information about student financial aid is the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend. The financial aid administrator can tell you about student aid available from your state, the school itself, and other sources.
The internet is an incredible resource for financial aid information. Many schools have information about financial aid on their websites. You can also get free information from the U.S. Department of Education's website at www.ed.gov/studentaid, including access to free publications such as Funding Your Education and The Student Guide, can be read online, or from www.students.gov @ < http://www.students.gov/>; If you want a FREE hard-copy of these publications, call 1-800-433-3243.
You can call our Federal Student Aid Information Center for information at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). Hours of operation are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 12 a.m. (midnight EST) and Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (EST).
You can also find free information about federal, state, institutional, and private student aid in your high school counselors office or local library's reference section (usually listed under "student aid" or "financial aid"). There may be information available from foundations, religious organizations, community organizations, and civic groups, as well as organizations related to your field of interest,such as the American Medical Association or American Bar Association. Check with your parents' employers or unions to see if they award scholarships or have tuition payment plans.
Filling out the FAFSA, and applying for student financial aid is free. You should be wary of mailings or websites that offer to submit your application for you, or to find you money for school if you pay them a fee. Some of them are legitimate, and some are scams. But generally any information or service you pay for can be had for free from your school or from the U.S. Department of Education.
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