Figuring Out Financial Aid

 

Q.    When do I find out?

A.    Most families are notified with the letter of acceptance or shortly thereafter, typically in late March or early April. Students usually have until May 1 to accept or decline.

Q.    Can I bargain for more money once the college has offered me a financial aid package?

A.    Absolutely. As long as you are tactful, there is no reason not to. Your best ammunition will be a higher award from a similar institution.

 

THE TOP FIVE WEB SITES FOR COLLEGE FINANCIAL AID

1) The Financial Aid Information Page -- The consensual choice for the best aid source in cyberspace. Sponsored by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. This site includes information on every conceivable part of the aid process.

2) FastWEB -- The best scholarship search program on the Web. Includes more than 180,000 scholarships in its database. Best of all, it's free.

3) The College Board -- A full-service college admissions and test registration site, though less comprehensive on the subject of aid than finaid.org. Includes a scholarship search program that is an alternative to FastWEB.

4) Don't Miss Out: The Ambitious Student's Guide to Financial Aid -- The complete text of this fine book on financial aid is yours for taking. A superb overview of the aid process.

5) U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education -- This site includes everything you could ever want to know about federal financial aid. It includes a copy of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that is available for downloading.

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