Focus on getting the highest grades you can. Good grades will greatly increase your chances of getting an academic scholarship, which can be worth thousands of dollars. Learn more about scholarships and how to qualify.
Use the US Department of Labor’s scholarship search to find scholarships for which you might want to apply. Some deadlines fall as early as the summer between 11th and 12th grades, so prepare now to submit applications soon.
Contact colleges to request information and applications for admission. Ask about financial aid, admission requirements and deadlines.
Use the FAFSA4caster financial aid estimator, and compare the results to the actual costs at the colleges to which you will apply.
Take a look at your financial situation, and be sure you’re on the right track to help pay for college.
Help your child develop independence by encouraging him or her to take responsibility for balancing homework with any other activities or a part-time job.
Attend college fairs, college nights and financial aid nights with your child, but don’t take over the conversation with the college representatives. Just listen, and let your child do the talking.
Ask your employer whether scholarships are available for employees’ children.
Encourage your parent(s) to complete income tax forms early. If this has not yet been done, you can provide estimated information on your federal student aid application, but remember to make any necessary changes later.
As soon as possible after Jan. 1, complete and submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) along with any other financial aid applications your school(s) of choice may require. You should submit your FAFSA by the earliest financial aid deadline of the schools to which you are applying, usually by early February.
Contact a school’s financial aid office if you have questions about the aid that school has offered you. In fact, getting to know your financial aid staff early is a good idea no matter what—they can tell you about deadlines, other aid for which you might wish to apply, and important paperwork you might need to submit.
When you decide which school you want to attend, notify that school of your commitment and submit any required financial deposit. Many schools require this notification and deposit by May 1.
The information provided should not be considered as tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax advisor and/or attorney regarding your individual circumstances.
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