The Basics Of Financial Aid

The financial expenses associated with earning a college degree can be overwhelming for anyone to handle alone. Luckily, plenty of financial aid options are available out there if you look in the right places and are careful about meeting requirements and deadlines. Many schools offer you financial advisors who can help you through the financial aid process and give you resources to look through for loans, grants, and scholarships.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required for financial aid. It's easy to fill out online after you register for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) with the U.S. Department of Education. When you're filling out the FAFSA, there are several pieces of information you need to provide, including:

  • Social security number
  • Driver's license number
  • W-2 forms
  • Federal income tax return
  • Current bank statements and records of investments
  • Records of untaxed income received
  • Business or farm records, if applicable
  • Alien registration number if you're not a U.S. citizen

If you're a dependent student, you'll also need your parent's Social Security numbers and their income and financial records. Use the records from the year before the academic year for which you're applying for financial aid.

Filling out the FAFSA can gain you access to several kinds of federal loans if you qualify. These loans include Federal Subsidized Stafford Loans, which don't accrue interest while you're attending school; Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, which accrue interest at a low rate while you're attending school; and Federal PLUS loans, which are borrowed by a parent.

Federal grants, which you don't have to pay back, are also available to you once you've filled out the FAFSA. These include Pell Grants, which are based on financial need; Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, which are based on financial need and awarded by your school; and Academic Competitiveness Grants, which are based on Pell Grant eligibility and specific academic requirements.

Other grant opportunities as well as private scholarships are available from a number of organizations, including the college you're enrolling in. For example, Rasmussen College offers multiple scholarship opportunities. Each scholarship has its own requirements and applications. You might have to do an interview, write an essay, or enter a contest. It's a good idea to apply for as many as possible. Fastweb.com and Finaid.org are two good websites that can direct you to opportunities.

External links provided on Rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

This article was transcribed by the Rasmussen College Blog team. Are you ready to take the plunge into a new, successful future? If so, learn more about our degree programs today.

comments powered by Disqus
Share Your Story Ideas
Our campuses and online community have stories to tell and we want to hear them! Did your campus raise the most money in the community for an organization? Do you have online study tips for other students? Would you like to share a personal success story about overcoming an obstacle while earning your degree?
To have your story idea considered:
  • You must be a faculty member, current student or graduate
  • Story ideas must be regarding Rasmussen College or an inspiring story about a student at Rasmussen College
  • Your submission must be original and may not have been published elsewhere online already
Please Note: Your story idea may be featured on the Rasmussen College News Beat or on one of our social networks. A member of our news team will contact you should we move forward with a blog post.
Feel free to suggest an idea for a blog post to be featured on the Rasmussen College News Beat by filling out the form below:

First Name: (required)

Last Name: (required)

Email Address: (required)

Phone Number: (required)

500 characters or less

close

Your Story Idea Has Been Submitted

Thank you for sending us a story idea! We’re reviewing submissions and may contact you soon to learn more about your story. In the meantime, make sure to check out our current blogs to see what’s happening on campus.

close