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Helping your child apply for financial aid can be confusing. Our tips help you avoid common pitfalls to make the financial aid process easier.

Apply for Financial Aid

Even if you think you may not be eligible to receive financial aid, you may be surprised to find out that you are eligible.

Submit Your FAFSA® Early

For a better chance of being awarded several types of financial aid, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible, after October 1 of each year. Submitting it early improves your chances of getting a better financial aid package from your school.

Pay Attention to Deadlines

It's a good idea to check your school's financial aid website for deadlines that are earlier than federal or state deadlines.This strategy helps you avoid missing out on school-administered financial aid that you may be counting on, such as a work-study program and some grants.

Provide Proper Documentation

Some schools and universities require additional paperwork for school-sponsored aid. Be sure to ask which documents are required to ensure you remain eligible for these funds.

Confirm Your Financial Aid for Future Years

If your financial aid package includes scholarships or grants, ask the financial aid office whether you can expect to continue receiving the same amount of money in future years.

Check for Discounts When Two or More Children Enroll

You may be eligible for a special discount if more than one member of the family will be enrolled at the same college or university simultaneously. Ask the college or university if they offer a special discount in this case.

FAFSA is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Education.


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Saving for College with a 529 Plan


However old your child is, now is the time to start saving. One way that many families prepare to save for college is through a 529 Plan. A 529 plan, named after section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, is a tax-advantaged way to save for future qualified college expenses.


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