Getting enrolled at a college or university and navigating the financial aid minefield can be a daunting task, but there are a number of resources available to help you through the process.
FASFA (Federal Application for Student Aid)
FAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA can be filled out free-of-charge by anyone planning to attend college and is used to determine a student’s eligibility for federal, state, and institutional assistance with their college education. The FAFSA can be submitted online at fafsa.ed.gov.
(Note: There are commercial services available that can help students fill out their FAFSA, but the form and submission process are always free when submitted through the official website. If you don’t want to pay someone else to prepare your FAFSA, please make sure you’re using fafsa.ed.gov!)
Because there is so much involved in getting enrolled in college (taking the SAT’s, organizing your financial situation, applying and getting approved) you should start planning as early as possible. The American Council on Education has created a useful new resource called KnowHow2GO that can help you keep track of all these milestones and ease the way into your college education.
Pennsylvania College of Technology recently released GettingThemThere.com, a website aimed specifically at helping technical education students make the transition to college. GettingThemThere.com helps students “cash in” on the credits and advanced placement that they’ve earned through their technical school.