For detailed and reliable information about all types of financial aid, please visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/
Federal Financial Assistance is available for students and parents to help pay for college and other post-secondary training.
To find out if you qualify, use this FAFSA forecaster tool and enter your information and an estimate of your parent's income information for the calendar year prior to when you will enter college or training. For example, if you are expecting to begin school in August of 2017, then you will need to estimate how much money your parents made in the 2015 calendar year. Federal Aid is based on your parents 2015 taxes.
FAFSA Forecaster- https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/estimate
FAFSA Step-by-Step Directions-
**New for the 2016-2017 school year, the FAFSA will be open for students to apply beginning October 1st of their senior year. You will use your parents 2015 tax information to apply if you are planning to enroll and use financial aid for the Fall 2017 semester or the Spring 2018 semester.
For information on how to complete the FAFSA please view this video:
If you apply for financial aid, you may be offered loans as part of your school’s financial aid offer. A loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest.
If you decide to take out a loan, make sure you understand who is making the loan and the terms and conditions of the loan. Student loans can come from the federal government or from private sources such as a bank or financial institution. Loans made by the federal government, called federal student loans, usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than loans from banks or other private sources.
The U.S. Department of Education has two federal student loan programs:
Student Loan Calculators -
Click on this link for a great resource on the different ways to calculate repayment plans, interest accrual and to compare different types of student loans.
Scholarships are gifts. They don't need to be repaid. There are thousands of them, offered by schools, employers, individuals, private companies, nonprofits, communities, religious groups, and professional and social organizations.
There are numerous websites and agencies that will help you find scholarships; however, please be aware that many of these tools are free and there is no need to pay for a scholarship search. You could also be in danger of identity theft when applying for scholarships. Please be sure that you verify the validity of an organization before you send them your personal information.
Here are some general websites to help you start your scholarship search:
CollegeBoard Scholarship Search
US Dept of Labor Scholarship Search Database
The State of Florida offers many scholarships to Florida residents and their children. The Bright Futures scholarship is the most well know, but there are a lot of other state specific scholarships that you may qualify for. Please complete the Florida Financial Aid Application to be considered for these scholarships.
For more information about Florida scholarships available go to: http://www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/SSFAD/home/uamain.htm
The Florida Financial Aid application opens each December for students graduating that school year. You MUST complete the application during the last semester of your senior year to qualify for these scholarships. You must also meet all eligibility criteria prior to graduation. This includes submitting all of your Community Service Verification forms prior to graduation.
To complete the application go to: https://www.floridastudentfinancialaidsg.org/home/ApplyHere.asp
To see your Bright Futures Eligibility go to:
https://www.floridashines.org/go-to-college/pay-for-college (then click on the "Check Now" button)