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Steps to Take to Get More Financial Aid Next Year

Stay on top of financial aid every year that you’re in college. To be sure you have enough money for the next school year; you must take two important steps to keep the aid you already have:

  1. Reapply for financial aid every year. Even if nothing has changed in your circumstances, you must reapply every year to continue to receive financial aid. That includes filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year after it becomes available in October.
  2. Maintain satisfactory academic progress. To continue to receive student aid from year to year, you must be successfully progressing toward your academic goals. Academic programs differ, so each school will have its own standards. If your grades are slipping or you need to withdraw from a course, contact the financial aid office immediately for guidance.

Take these steps to seek more funding:

  1. Research scholarship, grant, and employment options. Loans are an option, but focus first on finding “free” money.
  2. Ask your school's financial aid office and your department of study about scholarships available to students in your major.
  3. Apply for every form of aid you may qualify for regardless of the amount. Even a small grant will help pay for lab fees or books. Remember, small scholarships add up!
  4. Reapply for aid you didn't receive last year, if your or your family’s financial situation has changed—such as having a sibling start college or experiencing a drop in family income due to a job loss. What to do if Your Financial Situation Changes will give you some tips on how to do that.
  5. Circle the dates. The most common mistake students make when applying for financial aid is missing deadlines. Mark important dates on your calendar.
  6. Use your financial aid office to get counseling and advice. Tips for Communicating with Your Financial Aid Office offers tips on working with your financial aid office.

College is expensive, but with planning, you can reduce the out-of-pocket costs of attendance.

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