One of the best tools for students and their parents is FAFSA4caster. By using FAFSA4caster you can get an early eligibility estimate, which will provide you with an idea of what you might receive in financial aid. This will also help to familiarize you with the process of applying for federal assistance, the various types that are available to you, and other sources of aid if needed.
Another helpful feature is the ability to transport much of this data into your FAFSA application later on, making the experience faster and easier. Check out www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov to get an idea of what types of loans are there for the taking. Take a look at the costs for the schools you are interested in, the results from the FAFSA4caster and any other outside funds you may have.
Now you will have better idea of your future college financial situation. Use this to start planning ahead and you will find that the whole process will be much smoother and less confusing. Once you are in school you want to focus on being there, not on whether or not you could have gotten more financial aid.
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|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|