10 Free Resources for Getting FAFSA Help
Kate felt lucky in life. She met the love of her life right after high school at a party following graduation. After dating for a year, they got married and started a family. This fulfilled one of Kate’s biggest dreams—she had a family of her own.
Another dream of hers still waited, and now that she was in her twenties with two kids, Kate wondered if it could happen. Kate wanted a college degree. It was something no other person in her family had ever done, and she wanted to be the first.
There was one big obstacle standing in the way. Time would always be an issue, with kids to take care of and a part-time job to help pay the bills. But Kate felt she could make the time. She already had plans for taking classes and doing homework in the evenings after the kids went to bed. She had been dreaming about college for so long, the work involved was already a given. The main issue standing between Kate and her dream of a college education was money. How would she manage to pay for college?
Fortunately, there are a lot of loans and grants available for people like Kate. The hard part can be getting access to funding, but that is where the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) comes in. Federal Student Aid, part of the U.S. Department of Education, provides over $120 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds for college students each year.
Kate had heard that the FAFSA form and process were hard to navigate, but there are resources out there to help. These options include:
Financial Aid Offices
Also at the schools you are thinking about, there is more specialized help available in the financial aid office. Helping students fund their education is why they are there.
High School Career Offices
For those still in high school planning on college, your school may have resources. Career counselors can help you with FAFSA questions or point you to the right place to look.
There are a lot of online resources for getting FAFSA-related questions answered. Just be careful you are getting advice from reliable sources. If in doubt, check a second resource.
Federal Aid Website
To be sure you get the right advice, you can go straight to the source. The Federal Aid website has all the latest information regarding deadlines, types of aid, application procedures, and more that you will need to complete your application.
Federal Aid YouTube Channel
Federal Aid even has a YouTube channel to help you out. This is a nice visual way to get walked through the application process.
Federal Aid Facebook Page
The Facebook page for Federal Student Aid is a good way to get questions answered and to connect with other people during the process.
Federal Aid Twitter Feed
For the latest news and updates related to Federal Student Aid, you can follow their Twitter feed.
State Higher Education Office
You can also see what resources are available through your state government education agencies. Many states have career and college planning resources.
Local College Planning Events
Even if you don’t plan to attend the hosting institution, many colleges and universities host financial aid planning and assistance events. See if a school near you is hosting an event and stop by to get the information you need.
The Federal Student Aid process can seem intimidating at first. Kate thought so and even considered for a moment that it was too complicated to navigate. But she had a goal and wanted to see it through. With help from the financial aid office at a nearby college, the one she wound up attending, Kate was able to get her FAFSA paperwork submitted and find the right financial aid resources for her. She was actually surprised to find so many funding opportunities that she had never heard of before. She can now focus on her classwork. Each semester, she moves closer to graduating with the degree she has always wanted.