by Bethany Minich, Admissions

If this is the first time you are going to college, you may have heard the term “FAFSA”…but have no idea what it is. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form used by the US Department of Education to determine eligibility for financial aid, grants, loans, and other means of funding your college education. If you are going to college and need assistance with financing your degree, you should complete your FAFSA.

There are many misconceptions about applying for financial aid and paying back student loans. So even if you don’t think you will qualify, go ahead and fill it out. The quickest way to complete your FAFSA is to complete it online at: www.fafsa.edu. Keep in mind that the application is FREE! There are many other sites (unfortunately) that charge you to complete the application, but if you go directly to the EDU site, it is free. And the great thing is that it only takes about 20-30 minutes to complete.

As soon as you submit your FAFSA, you will get a confirmation page that tells you what you should be eligible for in grant(s) and/or student loans. Cool, right? If you are researching several schools, you can enter multiple school codes on your FAFSA. Each school has a unique FAFSA code so that your financial aid information can be sent to the school. So if you are thinking of applying at CCBS, you can enter our school code, 041542, when prompted on your FAFSA. Putting a school code or multiple codes on your FAFSA doesn’t mean that you have committed yourself to going to those schools. This is just allowing your information to be sent to the school.

The Federal Student Aid website (https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/) is extremely helpful, and they have a lot of information about applying for student loans. Are you a visual learner? Check out their YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/1ElRXio. If you have additional questions about financial aid, please feel free to call me at (910) 818-0009. I am happy to answer questions you have about not only pursuing your degree, but assisting you with how to finance it.