The first step in developing a financial plan to pay for college is to complete the Fafsa (Free Application for Federal Form). This form is used to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid.
Many states use Fafsa to determine eligibility for loans and grants. If you need help completing the form go to formyourfuture.com which is sponsored by the National College Access Network (www.collegeaccess.org). The National College Success Network has a list of state organizations on the website that may be helpful to you.
You may also want to complete the College Board’s CSS profile (firstname.lastname@example.org). Many colleges and universities use this profile to determine eligibility for nongovernment aid which includes grants, loans and scholarships. You can also use the College Board website (www.collegeboard.org) to search for colleges that are the best match for your needs.
Once you have an offer(s) you can use www.consumerfinance.gov to compare offers. Click on “Consumer Tools” and then click on “Paying for College” on the drop down menu. This section also includes a tab on paying for college debt.
Need Financial Aid help? Check out these web sites: