Need Free Money for College? Avoid These 3 Mistakes

Do you know the 3 biggest mistakes both parents and students make when looking for free money for college that destroys their results? If you want to dramatically increase your chances of having your child’s college tuition and fees covered by scholarships and other college financial aid while avoiding these 3 college funding mistakes, read this immediately because the mistakes and what to do instead are inside this article.

Mistake #1: Starting Too Late

What is the mistake? The mistake here is to believe that students need to wait until they reach their junior or senior year in high school before locating different sources of free money for college.

Why is it a mistake? This one is a mistake because the longer a student waits before getting started, the less time they actually have to research awards they will qualify to receive.

What you should do instead? Regardless of how old your child is, start now by creating a list of college funding opportunities. As your children grow up, that list will grow over time as well.

Mistake #2: Doing The Work Themselves

What is the mistake? The mistake here is to push yourself to find all the money for college you need by yourself. This leads to overwhelm and before you know it, you and your child have given up hope.

Why is it a mistake? This is a big mistake because to win at the game of finding free money for college, you will want to identify ways to accomplish this without having to do all of the legwork yourself.

What you should do instead? Relationships are key here. Try building a relationship with the college advisor at your child’s school and ask for email updates if any new scholarship award should cross their desk. This person is usually your greatest resource.

Mistake #3: Not Knowing The Numbers

What is the mistake? The mistake here is to find and apply for 30 or less scholarship awards to help you pay for college.

Why is it a mistake? This is a mistake because even the very best student will win less than 3% to 5% of awards for which they apply. With that said, if a student locates and applies to 3 college scholarship or college funding opportunities that is 90 or so over the course of the month.

What you should do instead? Get aggressive about finding as many credible sources of free money for college. Set a daily or weekly goal and stay with it until the question of how to pay for college quickly becomes a thing of the past.

Financial Aid Applications Are Time Sensitive – Get Money For College Early Or Not at All

The U.S. federal government provides a limited amount of financial aid every year. The exact amount is set by legislation and the primary qualification is for a student to demonstrate actual financial need. Unfortunately, a lot of eligible students don’t actually get any help paying for tuition.

With school costs constantly rising at record speeds, there is never enough for everyone regardless of how much extra financial aid is voted into the system every year. Since not everyone who needs the money can have the amount promised, it all comes down to who asks first and follows all of the directions.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) become available on January 1st of every year, but you need some information before you can complete the application and turn it in. First, you need to have a PIN – a Personal Identification Number – with the federal FAFSA system. These can take a day or a week to process, so it is usually a good idea to get one ahead of time. The other major documentation that will be required for a complete application is in regard to the prior year’s income. If the student is 24 or younger, he or she will need access to parental financial and income statements – if the student is older, they will only need their own financial records.

When the PIN and financial documents are available, a FAFSA can be completed online for no cost through the official government website located at: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/index.htm

Time is of the essence! All eligible applications are honored – until the money runs out. When the government receives your application they pass it on to the college, and the college starts assigning financial aid and student loan funding. So the longer you wait to file the application, the less likely it is you’ll get a share!