Paying for College

    2 minute read
    The single most important thing you can do to get money for college
    Even if you’re not a college student or a parent of a college student, almost everyone knows someone either going to school or are preparing to go. Please share this with anyone you think this would help.

    Filing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the single most important thing you can do to get money for college. It’s the gateway to more than $150 billion in financial aid. As you complete your taxes this year now is the time to either file a FAFSA or update your FAFSA account with the most up to date information. Here are four reasons why every college student should file a FAFSA.
    1. Most students qualify for some type of financial aid. Financial aid can be awarded in the form of grants, work-study programs, federal student loans and state-based aid. Even if you are only awarded federal student loans this is a good financial option because the interest rate is fixed and it is lower than private loans and credit card interest rates.

    2. It’s free! It does not cost anything to file your FAFSA.

    3. It’s fast. It takes about 21 minutes to complete your FAFSA application.

    4. Scholarships often require it as part of their process. Even if you are awarded a scholarship, it may not cover all your financial needs. Colleges often want to make sure you have maximized your need-based aid before filling in any financial gaps.

    Here’s everything you need to prepare to file your FAFSA:
    1. An FSA ID. This is your account username and password. If you don’t already have one go ahead and create one ahead of time to avoid delays. It can take up to three days before you can use your FSA ID to file an application.

    2. Social Security number and driver’s license numbers

    3. Federal income tax return. Students and parents of dependent students will be asked to report their income.

    4. Records of untaxed income such as child support, interest income and veterans’ noneducation benefits

    5. Records of assets such as savings and checking account balances, as well as the value of investments, such as stocks, bonds and real estate

    6. List of all schools you are interested in attending. Even if it’s only a slight chance you’ll apply to a college, list the school on your form. Schools use your FAFSA information to determine the types and amounts of financial aid you need. Waiting to add a school until you’re accepted may cause you to miss out on financial aid.

    You can complete your FAFSA form at or through the myStudentAid mobile app available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

    Figuring out how to pay for college can be stressful but you don’t have to go it alone. Credit Human is committed to helping you build slack when you need it most. Visit a Financial Health Center to get the support you need to answer all the big financial questions.