university-lecture

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.
State Deadlines
Alabama Check with your financial aid administrator
Alaska April 15, 2009 @
American Samoa Check with your financial aid administrator*
Arizona March 1, 2009 @
Arkansas For 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) @
California For initial awards – March 2, 2009
For additional community college awards – September 2, 2009 – date postmarked*^
Colorado Check with your financial aid administrator
Connecticut February 15, 2009 *#
Delaware April 15, 2009 @
District of Columbia June 30, 2009 *
Federated States of Micronesia Check with your financial aid administrator*
Florida May 15, 2009 – date processed
Georgia Check with your financial aid administrator
Guam Check with your financial aid administrator*
Hawaii Check with you financial aid administrator*
Idaho Opportunity Grant – March 1, 2009 *#
Illinois First-time applicants – September 30, 2009
Continuing applicants – August 15, 2009 #@
Indiana March 10, 2009 &
Iowa July 1, 2009 ^@
Kansas April 1, 2009 #*@
Kentucky March 15, 2009 #&
Louisiana July 1, 2009 ^
Maine May 1, 2009 @
Marshall Islands Check with your financial aid administrator *
Maryland March 1, 2009 &
Massachusetts May 1, 2009 #^@
Michigan March 1, 2009 &
Minnesota 30 days after term starts
Mississippi MTAG and MESG Grants – September 15, 2009
HELP Scholarship – March 31, 2009
Missouri April 1, 2009 @
Montana March 1, 2009 #&
Nebraska Check with your financial aid administrator*
Nevada Check with your financial aid administrator*
New Hampshire May 1, 2009 @
New Jersey June 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 Mexico Check with your financial aid administrator*
New York May 1, 2010 *^@
North Carolina Check with your financial aid administrator
North Dakota March 15, 2009 &
Northern Mariana Islands Check with your financial aid administrator*
Ohio October 1, 2009 @
Oklahoma April 15, 2009 # for best consideration
Oregon Check with your financial aid administrator
Palau Check with your financial aid administrator*
Pennsylvania All 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 Rico Check with your financial aid administrator
Rhode Island March 1, 2009 #&
South Carolina Tuition Grants – June 30, 2009 @
South Dakota Check with your financial aid administrator*
Tennessee For State Grant – March 1, 2009#
For State Lottery – September 1, 2009 @
Texas Check with your financial aid administrator*
U.S. Virgin Islands Check with your financial aid administrator*
Utah Check with your financial aid administrator
Vermont Check with your financial aid administrator*
Virginia Check with your financial aid administrator*
Washington Check with your financial aid administrator
West Virginia March 1, 2009 #*^
Wisconsin Check with your financial aid administrator
Wyoming Check 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