Applying for financial aid can be confusing, especially for first-year students. Make the process simple by using our checklist as you start the financial aid process:
Choose a School
The first step to considering your educational financial aid options is to decide on a school. Your financial aid package will depend on the cost of your school and other institution-specific factors, so it’s important to make your school decision as early as possible.
Apply for Merit-Based Aid
Even if you don’t think you qualify for merit-based financial aid, ask your school’s Financial Aid department about your options. This type of aid can help your overall financial package, so apply for any scholarships or grants available to you. Be sure to note any scholarships you receive on your financial aid application. It’s also important to understand how your school deals with outside scholarships. Will those scholarships be deducted from your financial aid application?
Schools offer a wide range of loan options, so be sure to ask a financial counselor about school loans. Know if you qualify for one, what type you need, and how you plan to pay back the loan.
Look for Other Aid Options at Your School
Knowing all of the financial aid options at your school can be reassuring as you continue in the financial aid process. Research your school’s work-study and volunteer options that might affect your aid package. Then you can note each of these opportunities as you fill out your application.
Ask Your School for Statistics
While knowing about your school’s loan and work study options can be helpful, it’s useless without real numbers. Know what the school’s average loan amount is at graduation, and ask for a ballpark work-study amount. Knowing these facts can help you plan your financial aid application and your life during school.
When you’re ready to start deciding on a school, check out the degree programs at AIU. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.