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If a student wants to get student financial aid, it is advised to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) prior to his enrollment at school or college. Then, the application should be submitted to the Department of Education’s website. Alternatively, he can send his application in a paper form by mail or he can also hire a professional to help him complete the 130 questions that focus on the family’s financial condition.
When the Department of Education processes the application, it would determine the family’s estimated financial contribution towards college financial needs. Finally, a post-secondary institution will finalize the total student financial aid.
Federal loans and private student loans from banks are also available to offer student financial aid, although federal loans are much more beneficial since their interest rates are significantly lower and the repayment terms are also better. In addition, a student can apply for a state-based aid if he/she is both a resident and a college student of the same state that he/she is applying for financial aid.
It would be wise to prepare and file the financial aid application as close to January 1 as possible, since the whole aid process is granted on a first-come-first-served basis.
Another form of student financial aid is scholarship and grants that the student can get his hands on, as a result of exceptional SAT scores and excellent academic performance. Colleges and universities also award merit-based scholarship and grants to students that demonstrate special talents and athletic achievements and also due to group-affiliation.
Based on the student’s financial need, he/she could be awarded for need-based aid and FAFSA is held responsible for determining his/her eligibility. SAT scores play a vital role in the total size of the financial aid the student will receive.
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