How to Survive College 101: Get Help With FAFSA Money and How to Obtain It

Are you a new college student and want to know how you can get financial help? Apply for the FAFSA and learn how to get money!

Main image courtesy of RetailMeNot.

Applying and getting accepted into college means a new exciting chapter is opening up in your life! With so many new people to meet, things to learn, places to see, internships to apply to, and so much more life events to experience. There are so many things to learn while living on your own and being a brand new college student, but the biggest concern for many new students is, “How am I going to pay for my tuition?” 

There are so many concerns around what you can do to pay your college tuition. Private loans are an option, but did you know that you can get help from the government? Applying for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, can help you to take money off of your tuition for the time being, so you can get your degree, and not have to worry about paying them back until you graduate! 

The big question though is how exactly you can get the money from FAFSA? Well, if you’re a new college student and you’re struggling with learning the ways of the FASA, continue reading on to learn:

  • What is a FAFSA?
  • How Do I Apply for a FAFSA?
  • How Much Money Can I Get From FAFSA?
  • When Will I Receive Money From FAFSA?

What  is a FAFSA?

Understand what it is to help you be able to apply and save money on your college education!

Consider applying for a FAFSA before you start college to be able to get financial help from the government! Image courtesy of School District of Lancaster. 

Are you interested in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or the FAFSA, but not exactly sure what it is? The FAFSA is a lifesaver when it comes to paying for college and it is essential when it comes to getting a secondary education.

The FAFSA is a form that you can fill out to get financial aid to help you through college. Through the FAFSA, you can qualify for many different grants, work -study, and low-interest loans, such as subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans are when the government pays for the interest on them while you’re in school and the loan is deferred, while with unsubsidized loans, the interest begins to add up as soon as the loan is taken out.

The FAFSA can help you not only get money, but be able to determine how much money you can get from the government. Depending on your estimated family contribution (EFC), or your family income and how much money you should be able to put towards your education. The cost of attendance (COA), no matter what school you go to is taken into consideration when you fill this application out to give you a better idea of how much money should be taken out. 

How Do I Apply For a FAFSA?

Applying is as easy as can be, so make sure to fill out your FAFSA to help you get money for college!

Man Writing
Stuck on how to apply for the FAFSA? Learn exactly how to with our help to get on the road to success! Image courtesy of USNews.

The FAFSA can seem like a difficult process. With having to fill out an extended form on your parents income, deciding where you’re going to school, and so much more, we understand that this can be an intimidating process, especially if it’s your first first time applying. The process is not as bad as you think, so just follow these simple steps and you’ll be finished in no time!

How to apply for the FAFSA:

  • Gather all of the information you’ll need
  • Social security number
  • How many people are in your family and income
  • Your own personal income
  • Colleges you have, or will apply to
  • Create your FAFSA ID and write it down
  • Fill out the “Student Information” section
  • Name
  • Age
  • Birth date
  • Schools you’re applying to
  • Dependency
  • Fill out the “Parent Information” section
  • Family income
  • Review your FAFSA information to ensure it is correct
  • Electronically sign and submit it

Breaking down the FAFSA, such as the way we did can help you to gather all of your information beforehand before you get the process started. Once you have everything obtained, applying for the FAFSA is as easy as can be!

How Much Money Can I Get From the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is an essential part of going to college, and there are lots of things to consider with how much money you’ll get!

Girl Smiling
Learning how much money you can get from FAFSA and when you can get it can help you to pay for your college tuition! Image courtesy of Bay College. 

Paying for college is definitely one of the biggest stressors among college students, but after you apply, how do you know how much you’ll get? Once you apply for the FAFSA, you will have to wait an estimated six to eight weeks for an award letter with how much money you are eligible for. 

The sum of money that you receive in your award letter is not exactly how much money you are getting, but what it is believed you can get. FAFSA can tell you how much money you can get, for example a certain sum a semester, but the university that you are attending can accept as much as they want. In many cases, they only take a portion of what your FAFSA offer is. 

Once you accept the university in which you plan on attending, the university’s financial aid office will then send you a document on how much money they are willing to accept and then it is in your hands to accept all of the money, or even a portion of the money. 

If you plan to accept the money, whether on paper or electronically, you will sign the form so your university receives it and takes it and subtracts it from your current tuition. The money is deposited right into your student account and this can even cover fees, such as lab courses, textbooks, and even more. Sometimes you can have an excess of funds too, and if this is the case, the money may be awarded to you, or put towards the following semester. 

When Will I Receive Money From FAFSA?

Prepare to rejoice after receiving your financial aid so you can focus on your classes and grades!

Girl Working
When you receive your money from FAFSA, it will be a good day because then you get to focus more on your schooling! Image courtesy of Clever Girl Finance. 

Getting financial aid through the FAFSA and being qualified for a good sum of money is something to be happy about. Not only will you be able to focus more on your schooling, but you don’t have to worry about paying any of this money back until six months after you graduated to give you some time to find a job and save up money to start paying it back.

If you’re a new college student applying to schools for the very first time, and are new to the world of FAFSA, don’t worry. Once you pick which school that you want to go to, your financial letter will arrive in the mail from that college on how much money you will receive. The money will be deposited into your very own student account automatically before the semester starts to ensure that you will be prepared to successfully be able to pay for each semester. The money should be added into your account before your payment due date of each semester in advance, so you don’t have to worry about it.

We know that it can be stressful when it seems like it’s taking forever for you to receive your financial aid money and worrying it will be in your account on time. Be assured that you are taken in consideration and your money will be deposited to you in a timely manner to assure that you will be able to use that and your private loans, if you’re taking them out, to pay for your schooling on time.

College is an exciting time full of adventures. It is most definitely stressful, but money shouldn’t be an issue whenever you’re in the middle of working on your degree and being successful at the same time. While you’re in school, focusing on your grades, planning ahead for what classes you’ll take next semester, and just having fun with the college experience is what you should be worried about in the moment.
With the help of the FAFSA, you will be able to successfully get the help that you need in order to go to school and pursue your dreams. Make sure to plan ahead and apply for the FAFSA as early as October first of the following academic year in order to learn how much money you will receive for the following school year!

Sara Nuss
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