The Most Popular Financial Aid Options for New College Students

Planning for college finances is difficult and stressful, but these popular and beneficial financial aid options can help you overcome your financial obstacles.

College is a tremendous expense in any student’s life, but fortunately, there are multiple financial assistance programs that can help you achieve your education goals. Finding the right financial aid program might take a bit of upfront research, but odds are you’ll be able to qualify for at least one source of aid.

Start by taking a look at these most popular financial aid options for new students:

1.       FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a one-time application that every incoming college student should fill out. It takes several factors into consideration, including your family’s income, assets, and savings. This single application gives you access to several sources of federal aid, totaling more than $150 billion in available funds. These funds are distributed in the form of grants, loans, and work-study funds, all of which offer different stipulations and requirements. 

2.       Scholarships. Scholarships are offered by colleges as well as thousands of independent sources. If you did well in high school, you’ll easily qualify for a college-supported scholarship, and even if you had some trouble, there are still dozens of options available for you based on your background and your interests. Dig deep with some online searching, and apply for everything you can.

3.       Loans. Loans are another option (in addition to any federal loans you might receive from FAFSA), and they can be offered by independent sources or the schools themselves. Pay close attention to the terms and conditions of the loan before you sign.

Financial aid is one of the most stressful parts of the process, but submitting your applications can be fun! Get to know your colleges, and sign up for a free trial of BOLD Guidance software to make the application process easier.