TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. News University Directory Portal is pleased to announce the availability of their free college financial aid guide, Financial Aid 101: Demystifying the Financial Aid Process. This handbook provides students with the information they need to understand their federal financial aid options and the FAFSA application process. The handbook includes information on:
- Types of available financial aid
- How to calculate or estimate a school's cost of attendance (COA)
- How to apply for federal student aid
- How to make the application process easier
Financial aid makes it possible for students who might have trouble affording the cost of college tuition to pursue their educational goals. The first step for students interested in pursuing federal student aid, such as grants, loans, and work-study programs, is to apply for a Federal Student Aid personal identification number (PIN). The guide outlines how to apply for a PIN and how the PIN is used in the application process. Students then need to collect required documents, such as tax returns and W-2 forms. Once students have completed those tasks, they are ready to complete the Free Financial Aid Application (FAFSA). The FAFSA is used to calculate students' Expected Family Contribution, or EFC. College financial aid offices then use the FAFSA and the EFC to calculate the total amount of financial aid a student is eligible for.
This free guide will explain the steps students need to take to submit their application and includes a free PDF version of the FAFSA form to fill out. Detailed instructions on how to complete and submit the form are also provided.
In order to be eligible for federal financial aid, students must submit their completed FAFSA form by the established deadline. The federal deadline to submit the FAFSA is June 30, 2012.
Most states and colleges also use information from the FAFSA to award non-federal aid. The federal deadline is the same for all students, but students who wish to submit a FAFSA to an individual state will need to verify the state financial aid deadlines as those deadlines vary.
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SOURCE U.S. News University Directory