To obtain the funds to pay for your education you must be persistent. The United States is committed to education and approximately billions of dollars are set aside annually for its purpose. The funds are available, but you must investigate all possibilities to obtain the appropriate aid that will satisfy your individual need. The following procedure outlines a suggested method of investigation to help you in conducting your search.
How To Begin Your Search
You have decided to apply for admission to a particular school. Now develop a financial assessment to determine the approximate amount of aid you need. (Remember: college costs include more than just tuition. You must also consider fees, books, room and board, personal expense allowance and transportation costs).
How Much Can My Family Contribute?
Most institutions expect your family to contribute to your education. The amount of the contribution is determined by your parent's income and assets, your income and assets, how many members are in your family, and in some cases medical and dental expenses not paid for by insurance. With this information, financial aid officers are able to do a needs analysis to determine what your contribution will be.
How Much Money Do I Need?
After the needs analysis service has determined the full amount of your contributions, the sum remaining is what you need to complete your college costs. For example, if you are applying to a school which costs $4000 per year, and your contribution is $2200, your need is $1800.
How Do I Meet My Needs?
In addition to your research, there are MEOC counselors, school counselors and financial aid officers at all colleges who are there to keep you informed about what kinds of financial aid are available. It is important to inform the particular financial aid officer of your need. Be aware of all application deadlines, and apply early, whenever possible.
Remember, there are other students seeking financial aid, and schools give preference to those students who apply early because there is a limited amount of money available, so don't wait until the last minute to apply.
You may also look at financing information that is available at other locations on the internet. A collection of excellent web sites is provided below.
U.S. Department of Education: Financial Aide site. Information about the U.S. Department of Education's Federal student financial aid programs.
- www.fafsa.ed.gov/- Students may complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- www.fastweb.com/- scholarship, grant and other financial aid information.
- www.finaid.org- Financial Aid Information Page- this is a free, comprehensive, and objective guide to student financial resources on and off the World Wide Web.
- www.mhec.state.md.us- Maryland State Scholarship Programs.