Where's the $$ for college students? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Where's the $$ for college students?

January 13, 2007

Albany - - Affording to send yourself or your child off to college can be a struggle with climbing tuition rates and fees. The Georgia Hope Scholarship only covers the cost of tuition and some books for some students. Many students lose that scholarship because they don't maintain a "B" average. So how do you get money from the federal government and when's a good time to apply? 

Krystale Bell realizes she can't pay for college on her own. So she makes sure she fills out something many college students refer to as FAFSA. It stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

"I make sure I get it in on time to make sure that I get as much money as I can get ."

That's the key. The form is available online now and the sooner you turn it in, the sooner you can take advantage of free money.

"The number one funding source for most universities is going to be the federal government," says Albany State University Financial Aid Director Thomas Harris Jr.

He encourages every student to fill out the form.

"That begins the awarding process for pell grants, work study, other grants that the federal government has available for them, also student loans. All of these cover under the education costs, room and board, tuition and fees."

The forms asks questions about a student's financial background and the government comes up with an amount it figures the student's parents can contribute to their child's education.

"Students provide the federal government with information from themselves, their parents household information, how many are in the household, also provide information regarding income and assets."

Bell realizes the sooner she gets it in, the better off she'll be.

"There's so many people filling out the FAFSA so first come, first served."

Putting her a step closer to being the first to graduate. 

College students who returned to school this semester can still apply for money. They must complete the FAFSA form by July 2nd.

For students entering or returning to college next year, they can submit their FAFSA form as soon as July 1st.

For more information about financial aid, visit www.fafsa.ed.gov.

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