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It’s already January again, so I wanted to do my annual post reminding you to fill out your FAFSA form as soon as you can.  While over 65% of students attending a 4 year college finance their education with student loans (almost $20,000), there are plenty of grants and scholarships out there for those willing to put some time and effort.

FAFSA State Deadlines to Increase Your Financial Aid

    Fill out your FAFSA early. While you have a few months to send your FAFSA in, doing it early can help increase your grant size. Many states have their own deadlines and you could literally pass up a chance to get thousands of dollars more in college in grants by delaying.
StateDeadlines
AlabamaCheck with your financial aid administrator
AlaskaApril 15, 2009 @
American SamoaCheck with your financial aid administrator*
ArizonaMarch 1, 2009 @
ArkansasFor Academic Challenge – June 1, 2009 @
For Workforce Grant – check with your financial aid administrator
For Higher Education Opportunity Grant – June 1, 2009 (fall term); November 1, 2009 (spring term) @
CaliforniaFor initial awards – March 2, 2009
For additional community college awards – September 2, 2009 – date postmarked*^
ColoradoCheck with your financial aid administrator
ConnecticutFebruary 15, 2009 *#
DelawareApril 15, 2009 @
District of ColumbiaJune 30, 2009 *
Federated States of MicronesiaCheck with your financial aid administrator*
FloridaMay 15, 2009 – date processed
GeorgiaCheck with your financial aid administrator
GuamCheck with your financial aid administrator*
HawaiiCheck with you financial aid administrator*
IdahoOpportunity Grant – March 1, 2009 *#
IllinoisFirst-time applicants – September 30, 2009
Continuing applicants – August 15, 2009 #@
IndianaMarch 10, 2009 &
IowaJuly 1, 2009 ^@
KansasApril 1, 2009 #*@
KentuckyMarch 15, 2009 #&
LouisianaJuly 1, 2009 ^
MaineMay 1, 2009 @
Marshall IslandsCheck with your financial aid administrator *
MarylandMarch 1, 2009 &
MassachusettsMay 1, 2009 #^@
MichiganMarch 1, 2009 &
Minnesota30 days after term starts
MississippiMTAG and MESG Grants – September 15, 2009
HELP Scholarship – March 31, 2009
MissouriApril 1, 2009 @
MontanaMarch 1, 2009 #&
NebraskaCheck with your financial aid administrator*
NevadaCheck with your financial aid administrator*
New HampshireMay 1, 2009 @
New JerseyJune 1, 2009 if you received a Tuition Aid Grant in 2008-2009
All other applications – October 1, 2009, for fall and spring terms;
March 1, 2010, for spring term only ^&
New MexicoCheck with your financial aid administrator*
New YorkMay 1, 2010 *^@
North CarolinaCheck with your financial aid administrator
North DakotaMarch 15, 2009 &
Northern Mariana IslandsCheck with your financial aid administrator*
OhioOctober 1, 2009 @
OklahomaApril 15, 2009 # for best consideration
OregonCheck with your financial aid administrator
PalauCheck with your financial aid administrator*
PennsylvaniaAll 2008-2009 State Grant recipients and all non-2008-2009 State Grant recipients in degree programs – May 1, 2009
All other applicants – August 1, 2009 *@
Puerto RicoCheck with your financial aid administrator
Rhode IslandMarch 1, 2009 #&
South CarolinaTuition Grants – June 30, 2009 @
South DakotaCheck with your financial aid administrator*
TennesseeFor State Grant – March 1, 2009#
For State Lottery – September 1, 2009 @
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 VirginiaMarch 1, 2009 #*^
WisconsinCheck with your financial aid administrator
WyomingCheck with your financial aid administrator*

Source: FAFSA Site

Tips to Reduce Student Loans

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 University. Community 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. Be wise with your college education.

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

Photo Credit: laffy4k