If you’re thinking about college, KHEAA offers these tips:
• Complete your free application for Federal Student Aid (as soon as possible after Jan. 1) to apply for state and federal student aid. File online at fafsa.gov for the fastest response.
• Look for local scholarships in your newspaper. Community organizations and businesses may have scholarships reserved for local students.
• Talk with your school counselor, who can tell you about financial aid and where to find it.
• Talk with a financial aid officer at the school you plan to attend. He or she can tell you about any aid the school has available.
• Reduce your student loan costs. Take out loans only after you have received all the free aid — grants, scholarships and work-study — for which you qualify. Federal loans are generally better deals than private loans, but compare interest rates and repayment terms carefully.
• Visit websites with free information about college, financial aid and careers.
• Be a neat freak. Neat and complete counts when you’re filling out applications.
• Apply, apply, apply. The more financial aid for which you apply, the better your chances of getting enough aid to pay for college. Make sure you meet all deadlines.
KHEAA is a public, nonprofit agency established in 1966 to improve students’ access to college. It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy at no cost to students and parents. KHEAA provides the ThinkAhead Net Price Calculator to universities and colleges. The calculator, available on a school’s website, lets students and parents determine their out-of-pocket costs for attending that school. KHEAA also helps colleges manage their student loan default rates and verify information submitted on the FAFSA.