The sheer number of grants available to college students can sometimes seem overwhelming; especially when you start looking into the details of the grants listed. How can you narrow down your choices? More importantly, how can you make sure that you are able to apply for all of those grants that you qualify for?
Playing the Scholastic Field
There is one truth about higher education, and that is how much it costs! Finding funding for your college education is no joke. Indeed, while there are literally thousands of grants and scholarships available for college students, finding just the right ones can cause some severe headaches and take up copious amounts of time.
One of the great things about the Internet is that it has made the process of finding and applying for grants and scholarships much easier than it used to be. Not only can a student easily search for grant, scholarship and loan options, they can also apply and choose to be notified online. But one thing that many of these grants and scholarships have in common is the fact that they require the applicant to have filled out the FAFSA.
What is a FAFSA?
A FAFSA stands for “free application for student aid.” It is a form used by the Federal Government in order to determine if a student qualifies for free government grants or loans for financial aid. Indeed, this form is so useful and collects so much relevant information about the student and their financial situation in one place that many other scholarships and grants require that the student fill out this form in order for them to determine if they qualify for their own programs. While this makes it decidedly easier for the government, it also makes it easier for the student, for instead of having to send the same financial information along with dozens of grant and scholarship applications, they only have to fill the information out once.
Filling out a FAFSA
Filling out a free application for student aid is no easy process in and of itself. Indeed, it can take a good bit of preparation in order to fill out the form with as little headache as possible and there are a whole list of items that you should have ready before you even make the attempt; things like last year’s income tax return, student and parental social security numbers, the colleges that you are looking at attending plus much more. In fact, a complete list of materials can be found on the FAFSA website.
So if you are looking at making the grant and scholarship application process easier and more convenient, you may want to start with making sure that you have filled out the free application for student aid. Even if you don’t qualify for any free grant money from the Federal Government, you may just have saved yourself a few steps in the grant application process for other applications.
For more information on filling out the FAFSA, please see: FAFSA Main Site