It is a program that helps to supplement the cost of education and offers opportunities to those who otherwise may not have the means to further their education.
The first step to receiving financial aid is to filling out the free application for federal student aid.
This is the agency that determines what the family contribution should be.
The difference between the cost of attendance and expected contribution for a student, determines how much funds should be awarded based on need.
There are some programs that are based on merit or are non-need based and can replace expected contributions from a family source.
By applying early, several funding sources for assistance can be considered.
An eligible student with demonstrated need should not be denied the opportunity to attend college.
Though the maze of financial aid can be intimidating, if it is taken on a step at a time it's as easy as drawing a line from A to B.
Begin by determining your eligibility to participate in federal, state and local financial aid assistance.
Once you have determined that you are a good candidate for eligibility, apply for and receive your financial aid.
After your initial application for Federal Student Aid, the remainder of the process should be completed at your prospective college or university.
The Financial Aid office can be very helpful with this process.
To ensure your success, plan a college education budget.
Understand the policies and procedures that will affect your financial aid experience; and if a student loan is part of your budget be sure you understand all the repayment options.
Another important financial aid opportunity that you can't afford to overlook is the work-study program.
Often you will be given a part time job within your college or university to help you with expenses.
With proper planning, nearly anyone can obtain a good education.