You’ve thought long and hard about the career that is right for you. You weighed the options carefully and you know, without a doubt, that this is what you want to do for a living. You’ve probably even chosen the best school for turning your dream career into a reality. There’s just one thing standing in your way. How to pay for it. If you aren’t one of those fortunate folks, with unlimited resources, or a treasure chest full of gold buried in your back yard, how do you pay for your education? Well, don’t start digging up mom’s marigolds yet! At City College, we’ve been down this road with many of our students and done some digging of our own. There are a variety of options available for funding your college education, and we’re here to help you discover the ones that are right for you.  It all starts with five letters: FAFSA.

FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Whether you’re fresh out of high school or pursuing higher education later in life; a traditional or non-traditional student, you must submit a FASFA to determine your eligibility for federal and sometimes state, financial student aid. In fact, even if you are not applying for financial aid, many colleges require a FASFA to determine eligibility for available scholarships and grants. The application can be completed and submitted online at: https://fafsa.ed.gov/.  It’s important to note all application deadlines, to ensure you can start classes in the term you choose.  Also, if you are under the age of 24, you will need your parent’s assistance to complete the financial information required for the FASFA. If you are 24 or older, you’ll need to provide your financial information via tax returns, w-2 forms etc. Completing the FASFA application may seem like a daunting task, but you don’t have to go it alone. If you’re considering City College as an option, the Financial Aid Department is available to answer your FASFA questions and help guide you through the process.

I completed my FASFA, now what?

Once you’ve obtained the results of your FASFA application, you’ll be able to put together the roadmap for funding your education. Each student has a unique set of circumstances that require a financial plan tailored to their individual situation, which will vary based on several key factors. Obviously, the less money you have to borrow to pay for your education, the less you have to pay back so it’s important to explore any potential grants or scholarships you might be eligible for to minimize the amount of student debt you will acquire.

  1. Do I qualify for federal grant assistance? There are a number of federal grants to assist eligible applicants with the cost of higher education. For the most part, grants do not have to be paid back and are awarded on a need-basis, as opposed to merit-based. The most commonly awarded grant is the Federal Pell Grant, which is offered to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s or graduate degree. Other types of grants include grants to military service members and their children and grants from the State of Florida. If you’re not sure what grants you qualify for, talk to a financial aid representative at the City College campus you are considering. Our team of financial aid specialists will be with you every step of the way, to help you figure out the financial roadmap to fund your future.
  1. How can I find scholarships I might qualify for? Much like a grant, a scholarship does not typically need to be paid back, making it a great option for funding your education and minimizing your future student loan debt. Scholarships are usually merit-based and the criteria varies due to the diverse number and type of scholarships being offered. There are a ton of scholarships out there! Once again, you don’t have to find them on your own. Your City College financial aid representative can help, and we’ve also included the links below to some great scholarship resources to check out on your own.
  1. Can I get student loans to pay for college? There are federal student loan options to choose from depending on your unique situation. Our Financial Aid Department will work one-on-one with you, to help you develop the financial plan that is right for you and your future! You’ll know exactly how much you are eligible for in grants and/or scholarships and we’ll walk you through applying for the appropriate student loans for any remaining funds you might still need.

If navigating the road to funding your education sounds overwhelming, just remember, it doesn’t have to be. City College is a supportive community, who believe we can only succeed together. We take your education as seriously as you do, and we’re committed to being there to support your efforts to succeed from your first step on campus, to graduation and beyond.  Let us take the stress out of the financial aid process, so you can focus on all the right things – making that dream career a reality. Classes are starting soon! Call us today to learn more or to schedule a consultation with a Financial Aid Representative.

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