Paying for college can turn out to be a scavenger hunt for funds, but when it comes to achieving your goals, nothing should stop you, not even the net cost.
Financial resources for college or career training are in place to help you effectively pay for your postsecondary education. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started on your own financial resource scavenger hunt:
The internet is an excellent resource to find ways to save and pay for school. There is a lot of information on websites on how to receive money for college or career training. Such information can be learned through articles, guides, images, videos, webinars, newsletters and blogs. And of course, beware of any scams or misinformation!
The U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid (FSA) webpage is where you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student (FAFSA) – you may be able receive federal grants, work-study, scholarships, and loans if needed. The FSA webpage also includes the FAFSA4Caster where you can estimate your eligibility for federal student aid. You can also watch videos and download files to help you retain information, as well as using tools such as calculators, scholarships searches (similar to AKCIS), and college checklists to better your preparation.
For the full list of resources, see Federal Student Aid Resources and refer to Types of Aid to learn a more detailed description of the types of federal student aid.
It’s nice to have hard copies of informative publications for school. Many of them are great reminders of how the financial aid processes work. Publications include booklets, brochures, charts, tools, and checklists to help you better understand what other financial resources are there for you.
You can order or download copies of U.S. Department of Education Publications.
Need additional publications? You can request ACPE materials and publications such as: the College & Career Training in Alaska magazine, financial literacy brochures, a loan comparison chart, and/or user guides for AKCIS , from our website here.
Some individuals or a group of people can also be a source for financial resources. That doesn’t mean just asking individual(s) for monetary support but also for information on how to secure other funding sources (e.g. scholarship or grant opportunities, part-time job opportunities, etc.).
Your peers are a great resource, too, because some may be knowledgeable of the financial aid process.
Ask the institution you are thinking about attending if they offer any in-house financial waivers, gift aid, scholarships, and/or grants – your institution has experts such as Financial Aid Officers (FAO) who can be a resource for your financial aid endeavors.
If your income or our parent’s income has changed within the last few months or years, your institution has the ability to adjust your financial aid package. Every institution may call it something different, such as a Review of Special Circumstances, an Income Override, or a Professional Judgement.
In addition, some schools offer health insurance to their students; ask your school if they have a health plan for you.
Attending events that include information about school costs and financial aid options can save you thousands of dollars! These include financial aid seminars, webinars, presentations, and college & career fairs.
Be on the lookout for any postsecondary education events you can attend – that way you can network with financial aid professionals who can show you how to acquire finances for school.
Check to see what grants, scholarships, loans and other financial aid your federal, state, and local governments may be offering. For example, the U.S. Department of Education disburses their Federal Pell Grant for those who qualify and their Federal Student Loans to assist in paying off tuition balances.
If you’re attending a postsecondary institution in Alaska, the state offers the Alaska Performance Scholarship for high school students who fit the academic criteria and the Alaska Education Grant for those with financial need. Alaska also offers the Alaska Supplemental Education Loan and Family Education Loan – a low-cost option for students, or students’ families, to cover education costs for college or career training. It is important to note that there are options with loans, including deferment or forbearance, that if you have trouble making payments, you can temporarily suspend your payments.
Another place to look is your local workforce – many companies, corporations, and businesses may offer scholarships or some form of tuition payments/assistance. If you’re already in the workforce, start with your place of employment!
You are your own greatest resource! With this information, not only will you become more financially informed, you will be able to earn extra money. Create a budget so that you can keep track of your expenses for school. Pick up a part-time job, as long as you don’t work so much it detracts from your studies. Save what you can, and your earnings and savings accounts will become a financial resource as well! You are the master of your money for school!
If you have any financial aid questions, please contact the ACPE Success Center staff for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at 1 (800) 441-2962, option #4.