University Financial Aid

Written by Tara Peris
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The university financial aid office is often the best place to begin your search for educational funding. Although federal loans are an excellent source of assistance, colleges and universities have large endowments devoted specifically to financial aid. If you know how to work the system, it is possible to get a very reasonable tuition package.

Most financial aid resources advise students to begin by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. This helps lenders and universities determine the type of aid for which students are eligible, and it plays a large role in shaping loan packages. Although the form is standard, professionals who specialize in college financing can often provide tips on how to use it to your advantage. You don't want to be dishonest about your assets, but it is possible to work things in your favor with a little finesse.

Crafting a Smart Aid Package

If the FAFSA form doesn't get you very far, consider consulting other university resources. Most colleges and universities have an array of scholarship options that every student should consider. These awards come in all shapes and sizes and although some are merit based, many will use a broader set of criteria to determine eligibility.

The key is to use university resources wisely so that you can keep loans at a minimum. You can go a long way toward this end by working with the financial aid office to secure a reasonable tuition package. If you can supplement this with scholarship assistance, funding a college education becomes a good deal easier.

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