Billions in financial aid for college going unclaimed each year

- Billions of dollars in financial aid is going unclaimed each year. With the rising cost of college tuition, why would parents leave federal grant money on the table?  Teen and money expert, Anthony O'neal debunks the common myths when it comes to filling at FAFSA forms and applying for financial aid.

  • 1.  Myth #1: FAFSA takes too much time to finish
  • 2.  Myth #2: Not everyone needs to fill out a FAFSA
  • 3.  Myth #3I should wait to fill out FAFSA until I know where I’m going to college

Extra Tip--Apply each year! Be Pumped! Once your FAFSA is turned in, you get to sit back and watch the money start rolling in.

O"Neal addresses his strategy to footing the bill for your college education below: 

FINDING COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS AND FINANCIAL AID

The internet is an awesome resource for scholarship hunting. There are tons of great websites, like MyScholly.com, that help students find money for school. (Look for even more options on my “Anthony Recommends” tab.)

However, these resources are only helpful if they’re used! Here’s my advice for students to get the most out of their search for college dollars.

  • In middle school, students should spend about 30 minutes a day searching for and applying to get scholarships.
  • By the time they reach high school, students should spend about an hour daily doing the same.
  • Then, during the summer, high school students should treat the search for scholarship dollars like a job and plan to put in four hours a day.

I know students who did this, and they ended up with more than enough money to pay for school and graduate completely debt-free!

And here’s one more thing to keep in mind when it comes to paying for college—the FAFSA. I know, it sounds weird, but it stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students have to fill it out every year they go to college. It’s not just used to determine eligibility for student loans—it’s also used to determine eligibility for grants, scholarships and work-study programs.

The earlier applicants complete the FAFSA, the better. Students can begin the process as early as October 1 (for the following school year), though they will need to come back after January to update their income tax information.

So remember: Debt is not necessary to get a college degree. There are ways to pay for college without taking student loans and being in debt for 10 years after graduation. Yes, it takes some research and hard work, but cash-flowing college is possible!

 

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