Student loans can cause many students and their guardians to shudder and break out in a cold sweat. This is because student loans, particularly private loans, often come with steep interest rates and stiff penalties for late or missed payments. This can be hard on students who are just out of college and struggling to launch their careers in the professional world. Federal aid, however, offers students a loan with a much lower interest rate and the option to postpone loan repayment for up to a year after graduation, allowing the graduates time to find their feet and become more financially stable before beginning to pay off their loans. With these perks, it is little wonder that federal aid is still the preferred form of aid for students across the nation. And with these online resources, students will find navigating the application for federal aid much easier.
The FAFSA is the free application for federal aid. Students will need to download the application and print it out to fill it out by hand or fill out the electronic online application. Both are equally acceptable methods of filling out the FAFSA form. This website also is a great resource that walks students through the prerequisites of filling out a FAFSA, such as gathering the documents that will be needed, filling out the FAFSA itself, and how to follow up on a loan progress.
- U.S. Department of Education’s Completing the FAFSA
Available in the current and upcoming school years, the Department of Education’s guide to completing the FAFSA is a good starting place for FAFSA help. It covers eligibility and includes an FAQ guide that covers various basic questions that one may have with the application. For example, it includes advice about how to fill out the form if living off of a relative’s income and the differences between cash support and in-kind support.
- FastWeb’s FAFSA Center
FastWeb has a great collection of articles related to the common questions that arise from completing a FAFSA form. The articles on this site cover topics such as common FAFSA mistakes that can waste time and money, the necessary materials needed on-hand to complete the application, and the differences between filing as an independent and dependent student. Students can even submit their FAFSA-related questions to Mark Kantrowitz, a college finance expert who answers student financial aid and loan questions on his column, Ask Kantro.
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