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Start With StudentAid.gov

This government website is trustworthy and packed with the information you need.

You will find checklists for academic and financial planning, as well as advice on how to choose a school, apply for financial aid, and find all kinds of money (including grants, scholarships, and work-study programs).

Start with your early-stage college planning. Stay connected through college and after with help on college financing and managing college loans.

For Students Considering College

Learn how financial aid works. One of the first things you need to consider when going to college is paying for your education. Will you qualify for grants or scholarships? Will you need to apply for a loan or consider a work-study program? You will find explanations of the different financing options and how to find out what you qualify for.

Learn how to fill out the FAFSA. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the first step, allowing colleges to determine what type of financial aid that you qualify for. This part of the website will guide you through getting your FSA ID, filling out the form, and gathering the documentation you will need for the FAFSA.

Learn how to read and understand your student aid report. Your financial information and eligibility are summarized in a student aid report, or SAR. This part of the website will help you get your report, read it, and make any necessary revisions.

Learn how to compare college financial aid offers. Come back here when you get your college financial aid offers. Most likely, every offer will look different. This section of the website will help you compare apples to apples, walking you through each item (scholarships, grants, loans, work-study) in your letters.

Other Popular Resources

Are you a parent or professional? Check out Federal Student Aid’s best-kept secret: its resources pages. In English and Spanish, you’ll discover publications, brochures, forms, worksheets, videos, and webinars on all aspects of college planning and financial aid.

If you’re already a college student, you can use Federal Student Aid’s loan simulator to estimate what your expenses will look like after college. There is also information about renewing your FAFSA each year and applying for additional loans, if needed.

Need live help of any kind? Experts at Federal Student Aid are available on workdays and weekends to answer any questions you have. Students and parents are guided to the right people on this contact page. There is chat, email, and even Twitter. But often it is just best to call: 1-800-433-3243.

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