Fill Out Your FAFSA Now

You can pick up FAFSA now and get started with your financial aid for next year. It’s always good to plan ahead so you can qualify to receive more grants and rely on less on student loans.

Many students finance their education with mainly student loans, believing that’s the only way to make it through college, but there are grants and scholarships out there. The main key is start early. While there are opportunities throughout the year, focusing on applying and submitting your FAFSA application in January and February can really pay off.

Check Your State’s Deadline to Get the Most Financial Aid

Don’t just wait to turn in your FAFSA application. Each state has a different deadline on getting grants and college funds from them. As you can see below, spring is a common deadline, so please try to send in your FAFSA early and you’ll see that you can get more grants there.

For me personally, it was hundreds to an extra thousand or so a semester.

StateDeadlines
AlabamaCheck with your financial aid administrator
AlaskaApril 15, 2010 @
American SamoaCheck with your financial aid administrator*
ArizonaCheck with your financial aid administrator
ArkansasFor Academic Challenge – June 1, 2010 @
For Workforce Grant – check with your financial aid administrator
For Higher Education Opportunity Grant – June 1, 2010 (fall term) @; November 1, 2010 (spring term) @
CaliforniaFor initial awards – March 2, 2010 +*
For additional community college awards – September 2, 2010 – date postmarked +*
ColoradoCheck with your financial aid administrator
ConnecticutFebruary 15, 2010 #*
DelawareApril 15, 2010 @
District of ColumbiaJune 30, 2010 @#*
Federated States of MicronesiaCheck with your financial aid administrator*
FloridaMay 15, 2010 – date processed
GeorgiaCheck with your financial aid administrator
GuamCheck with your financial aid administrator*
HawaiiCheck with you financial aid administrator*
IdahoOpportunity Grant – March 1, 2010 @#*
IllinoisAs soon as possible after January 1, 2010. Awards made until funds are depleted.
IndianaMarch 10, 2010 &
IowaJuly 1, 2010 @
KansasApril 1, 2010 @#*
KentuckyMarch 15, 2010 &#
LouisianaJuly 1, 2010 @
MaineMay 1, 2010 @
Marshall IslandsCheck with your financial aid administrator*
MarylandMarch 1, 2010 &
MassachusettsMay 1, 2010 @#
MichiganMarch 1, 2010 &
Minnesota30 days after term starts @
MississippiMTAG and MESG Grants – September 15, 2010 @#
HELP Scholarship – March 31, 2010 @#
MissouriApril 1, 2010 @#
MontanaMarch 1, 2010 #&
NebraskaCheck with your financial aid administrator*
NevadaCheck with your financial aid administrator*
New HampshireMay 1, 2010 @
New Jersey2009-2010 Tuition Aid Grant recipients – June 1, 2010 @
All other applications – October 1, 2010, for fall and spring terms @;
March 1, 2011, for spring term only @
New MexicoCheck with your financial aid administrator*
New YorkMay 1, 2011 @+*
North CarolinaCheck with your finanacial aid administrator
North DakotaMarch 15, 2010 &
Northern Mariana IslandsCheck with your financial aid administrator*
OhioOctober 1, 2010 @
OklahomaApril 15, 2010 @#
OregonOSAC scholarship – March 1, 2010
Oregon Opportunity Grant – check with your financial aid adminstrator
PalauCheck with your financial aid administrator*
PennsylvaniaAll 2009-2010 State Grant recipients and all non-2009-2010 State Grant recipients in degree programs – May 1, 2010 @*
All other applicants – August 1, 2010 @*
Puerto RicoCheck with your financial aid administrator
Rhode IslandMarch 1, 2010 &#
South CarolinaTuition Grants – June 30, 2010 @
SC Commission on Higher Education – no deadline
South DakotaCheck with your financial aid administrator*
TennesseeFor State Grant – February 15, 2010 @#
For State Lottery – September 1, 2010 @#
TexasCheck with your financial aid administrator*
U.S. Virgin IslandsCheck with your financial aid administrator*
UtahCheck with your financial aid administrator
VermontCheck with your financial aid administrator*
VirginiaCheck with your financial aid administrator*
WashingtonCheck with your financial aid administrator
West VirginiaApril 15, 2010 @#*
WisconsinCheck with your financial aid administrator
WyomingCheck with your financial aid administrator*

Source: FAFSA

Tips to Reduce Student Loans

If you can get your college education without student loans, you’re relieving yourself of a burden that has stressed many. If you do have to take some student loans, please avoid private loans which tend to be much more expensive. Instead look for subsidized or unsubsidized

  • Attend an in-state college. If all else is equal, staying in-state can save you 2/3 of tuition over going out of state for college.
  • Attend a community college and  transfer to a 4 year UniversityCommunity colleges offer similar quality of education; sometimes even sharing the same professors as the near by universities.
  • Consider work study as an option to gain experience and/or pay bills. You can gain some income with a job on campus and not spend much on transportation.
  • If you want to keep expenses low while in school, don’t get credit cards. They may appear to be a quick fix, but the interest rates are much higher than student loans from the government.

Share your Tips for Maximizing Financial Aid

What did you do when you attended college? How do you plan on saving money?