During college, the biggest worry students face should be studying for their next exam. However, for many students figuring out how to pay for tuition, rent, books, food and all the other expenses of college life can take a serious toll. Please review our list of resources for financial aid guidance and be sure to share with your friends and classmates as these tips can be helpful in mitigating financial hardships while attending college.
In addition to the tips provided below, you may wish to explore new financial aid resources that are specific to the COVID-19 Pandemic. To view more information and tips on how to get the best financial aid package possible, please click here.
To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, work-study, and loans, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and easier than ever, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school. For a tutorial on how to fill it out, please watch these videos:
What is the CSS Profile?
The CSS Profile is an online application that collects information used by nearly 400 colleges and scholarship programs to award non-federal aid. Some colleges may require the CSS Profile from both biological/adoptive parents in cases of divorce or separation. You may complete the CSS Profile as early as Oct. 1, 2020. You should submit no later than two weeks before the EARLIEST priority filing date specified by your colleges. For more guidance, please click on the resources below:
Ultimate Guide to the CSS Profile
Your School's Financial Aid Office
The financial aid office at your university might be able to help you find additional financial aid, whether it be through loans, grants, or scholarships. Some schools also offer short-term emergency loans to students.
Student Services Office
Financial strains can bleed into other elements of your life and may impact your personal relationships, study habits, and even your grades. The student services office can help you find a counselor who'll help you navigate the situation and may offer time management training that can prove useful if you're working while at school.
Scholarships, which are often critical resources for college students, are available throughout the year to upper and lower classmen alike. Apply for scholarships with upcoming deadlines, and you may win money to cover pressing expenses. Please review our Scholarships page to find 2021 scholarship opportunities!
On-campus student clubs or organizations
You can learn about additional resources for college students by connecting with your peers. If you're part of a student club or group, see if it has a directory of helpful financial resources. Also, try to find and connect with fellow students who've overcome similar struggles to ask for advice and learn how they managed.
Some students start a crowdfunding campaign to help them raise money for their college expenses. You likely won't be able to cover the cost of all your schooling, but if you have a particular need, such as a set of textbooks or fees for a study abroad program, crowdfunding could be a good option.
Private student loans
A private student loan could help you pay for school-certified educational expenses. To qualify, you'll need to meet eligibility and credit requirements. You may need a creditworthy cosigner if you don't qualify on your own.
To learn more on managing financial aid, please click here.