Learn How to Apply for Financial Aid for School
Paying for school can be difficult and expensive, which is why many students need financial aid. Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. Applying for financial aid is not as challenging or intimidating as it may seem, especially if you follow these basic steps.
Examine Your Options
If you need financial aid in order to go to school, it’s important to look at all of your options. Financial aid usually falls into three different categories:
- Student Loans
Scholarships and Grants
Scholarships and grants should always be the first types of financial aid that you look at, because they don’t need to be paid back. Scholarships are usually based on merit, such as good grades, or on other qualifications, from private donors or non-profit organizations. Even if you don’t think you’ll be eligible, it never hurts to check, especially since there are so many different kinds of scholarships. Visit link to get started and learn more about your options.
Grants are similar to scholarships, but are typically awarded by the state or the federal government. Again, you might be surprised at the grants that you qualify for, so be sure to do some research to find out what might be available to you.
Student loans should be your last resort when it comes to financial aid. However, student loans are sometimes necessary, and they can be very helpful. You can meet with one of our Financial Services Representatives, or visit our financial aid page, to find out more about applying and paying for loans.
Fill out Your FAFSA
A FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the first step in applying for financial aid for school in the form of grants or student loans. The FAFSA evaluates your needs based on your income, assets, your school tuition and other factors. Before you get started, you will need to gather some information to complete the form:
- Your Social Security number
- A FSA ID
- A copy of your most recent tax return (and your spouse’s return if you file separately or your parents’ return if you are claimed as a dependent)
- Your most current W2
- Your driver’s license or state ID
Once you have all of the necessary information, you can fill out your FAFSA. Filling out the application can take as little as 15 minutes to complete and we can even help you fill it out over the phone–just call our FAFSA support line at 866.843.5376.
After you complete the FAFSA form, our Financial Services office will be notified about your aid eligibility anywhere from three days to three weeks after you submit it. Once we receive your Student Aid Report (SAR), we will notify you about the amount in student loans you are eligible to receive. We also use it as a reference when you fill out scholarship forms.
Things to Remember Regarding Student Loans
Since interest can accumulate over time, you should only take out as much money in student loans as you actually need. Always try to use your own money first, then scholarships or grants and only supplement with student loans as necessary.
If you aren’t sure how student loans work, you can meet with one of our Financial Services Representatives to figure out how much you actually need to take out in student loans. Our advisors can also help you set up a payment plan, as you get closer to graduation to ensure your loans don’t become delinquent. You can also get an idea of cost by filling out the Net Price Calculator. This will allow you to get an idea of the cost of a program in a few steps.
Meet with an Admissions Representative
Call and set up an appointment to meet with one of our Admissions Representatives today to start figuring out your plans for school. Call 866.481.9301 for more information. We'll work with you to make an education at BTI affordable.