If you’ve filed for financial aid recently, you may be thinking to yourself, “Did I get the most I could get? And if not, how can I get more financial aid?”
Although there are plenty of ways to get more financial aid, going back to the basics is often the best step to make sure. Use the following six ways as a checklist to double-check that you — and everyone around you — can get more financial aid money.
Get more financial aid money by. . .
1. Filing your FAFSA®.
The Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is a form that gets you access to federal grants and loans, but it can also be useful in applying to state and private funds for school as well. If its length and complexity seems scary, don’t worry — we at Frank are here to help and offer a service where you can get it done in as little as four minutes!
Here are some FAFSA® resources to help you get the most out of federal financial aid
- Everything you need to file
- FAFSA® FAQ: All your basic questions answered
- Common mistakes to watch out for
- Top FAFSA® Myths
2. Doing it early to get the most money.
Getting your FAFSA® done early doesn’t just help your painkiller budget in preventing procrastination headaches. Because many of these funds are first come, first serve, there’s a real monetary incentive to filing as soon as you can. You’ll have a better chance of getting that award money the sooner you apply — as well as a wider variety of fund sources.
3. Consulting an expert.
Filing for student aid requires a lot of complicated tax and identification documents that you may have not dealt with in the past. Beyond reading advice columns from industry experts, ask your family, your school, your friends, or your community for help. You might be surprised by who comes through, as well as how much money you’ll save with their input. Also, specialists are available who can provide expert reviews of your FAFSA® prior to filing to ensure you’re not making costly mistakes and that you get all the aid you’re eligible for.
4. Appealing your financial aid package. (Seriously!)
Not many students know that you can appeal for more money once it’s awarded to you. It’s true! Your award offer is just that — an offer. Follow up with the school to inform them of any “unmet needs” that you don’t think your package would cover. And as the Princeton Review says, “the worst that they can say is no.” So it’s always worth a shot. Aid appeal is another area where expert support is available to families.
5. Not stopping – scholarships & grants.
If you’ve filed and still come up short, there are tons of scholarships and private funds out there just waiting to be claimed. Learn more about applying for scholarships and grants here. Even if you don’t think you qualify based on scholastic merit, think outside of the box. From cutest prom couple to coffee-based essay writing, there are plenty of other ways than grades to get some more financial aid.
6. Spreading the love.
Telling your friends about applying for financial aid can keep you accountable to your own goals. Plus, you’ve probably received your fair share of help getting there, so think about paying it forward. Sharing articles or infographics (like the one below!) are easy ways to do it. Why not spread the love right now?