While many students who want to benefit from a university education decide to opt for a student loan, there are others that may find that they are eligible for student financial aid. There are various different grants and study programs that you may be able to apply for based on your circumstances. These can prove invaluable to those that have not other means of financing their studies but you do need to make sure that you meet the criteria before you apply.
Student loans can be costly, which is why many of those with loans decide to look into student loan consolidation in order to reduce costs. However, if you find that this is not an option for you because of your financial status and that of your family, then you may find that getting financial aid elsewhere is the solution.
What factors are considered for eligibility?
If you decide to opt for financial aid as a student, there are a number of factors that will have to be taken into consideration in order to determine your eligibility. Some of the key factors that will be look at include:
- Your US citizenship or eligibility for financial aid as a non-citizen
- Your level of financial need
- Whether you have had any issues with federal student loans
- Whether you have been accepted for an eligible degree or course
- Whether you have been able to maintain a high level of academic success
- Your social security number must be valid (there are a few exceptions to this)
These are all factors that will play a part in whether you are deemed eligible for student financial aid. You will also need to prove that you are entitled to go onto further education by proving you have your high school diploma or GED certificate. Alternatively, you may enroll in a career pathway program that is deemed eligible to obtain financial aid. Of course, you also need to agree that the financial aid that you receive will be used only for educational purposes.
Making your application for student financial aid
If you have checked the full list in relation to eligibility and you believe that you are entitled to this type of financial aid, you then need to make your application. In order to do this, you should first check on the application deadline. For instance, for 2018 and 2019, the deadline is June 30th of each of these years. However, bear in mind that deadlines can vary so always make sure you double check first.
If you plan to make an online Free Application for Federal Student Aid, you also need to create an FSA ID. This will enable you to keep track on the status of your application. However, you won’t need to do this is you are submitting a paper application. You then need to complete the online or paper application and submit it.
If you then wish to check the status of your application, you can do so online anytime after submission. If you sent in a paper application, you will be able to check on the status from seven to ten days after sending it.