How to Get Student Loan and Financial Aid for College?
Whether you are going back to college after many years or just graduated from high school, applying to financial aid and student loans can be big hassle. This is because even though there are many resources available to finding out how to apply for them but unless you already know the basics only few of them are helpful for students who are not familiar with the financial aid process.
Easy Steps to Getting Student Loan and Financial Aid:
Step 1: Apply to a college. Before you apply for any financial aid and loans, you should fill out application for admission at a college of your choice. You can apply for as many colleges and university as you want, but you will only get financial aid for the college you attend.
Step 2: Get the school code. Now contact the college financial aid department and ask them what the school code for financial aid is. It is usually a three or four digit number. You will use this number later when filling out the financial aid application, so save it somewhere you won’t lose it.
Step 3: Gather all your tax information from last year. You may also need tax return information of your spouse (if you are married) and parents (if they claimed you dependent). Your college will use them to decide how much financial aid and loans you need.
Step 4: Fill out FAFSA application. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You can either fill it out in paper or online. Applications are available to print out and fill them with ink or fill them completely online and submit; they can be found at fafsa.org. Somewhere in the middle, they will ask for college you plan to attend; give them the school code you saved earlier. Also click Yes when asked if you want to apply for student loans, if you want one.
If you fill the application online, you will need a PIN number at the end. This is easy. The online application is made in such a way that it is divided into sections and each section gets saved, but not submitted, after you fill them out until everything is completed to the end. Therefore, at end it will ask you to give them your PIN number. Since you don’t have that, you will be directed to a website where you will apply for one. It takes less than 2 days and they only need your SSN and number for that.
Step 5: Submit after completion. After you have completed the application, submit and check the status in few days. Make any corrections they find after submission and resubmit. Your school gets the information automatically. You are done.
Options: Some schools require you to go through Entrance Counseling if you also want the student loans, once FAFSA application is completed successfully. The process varies from college to college; so make sure to read mails from your college Financial Aid department for instructions and steps to take for getting student loans.