Get your financial aid in order for fall

It’s July. Do you know where your college money is coming from?

If you didn’t answer “yes,” it’s time to get a handle on how you’re paying your tuition bill this fall. The first few days of college are hectic enough without worrying about filling out loan applications and other financial aid paperwork.

If you’re feeling a little fuzzy whether all your costs are covered, pull together all your paperwork and take a look. This would include your school’s award letter and any additional scholarship awards you may have received. Also, check the paperwork you got at orientation or your school’s financial aid office website. You may find some helpful guides to walk you through your to-do list.

Just so you know what to look for, here are the three areas you should have covered:

  Scholarships and grants. Your award letter should list the scholarships and grants you’ve been awarded and the amount they will cover. If you’ve received any additional scholarships since receiving your award letter, be sure to notify your school.

  Loans. Your award should also list the federal student loans you’re eligible for. Have you accepted any aid you’re eligible for? If not, contact your school right away to learn what you need to do to get the ball rolling. If you’ve accepted your financial aid, do you know the amount you’ll be receiving each semester? If you’re unsure, talk to your school’s financial aid office and get it cleared up. Better to do that now, than to wait until school is starting.

  Your EFC. Your EFC is your “Expected Family Contribution.” That means how much money you and your family are expected to pay toward your college expenses, outside of the grants, scholarships and the federal student loans you receive. Make sure you know where this money is coming from. Do you or your parents have money set aside for college? Will your parents be paying for it? Will you need a private student loan to cover the cost? Sit down with your parents and make sure you have this part ironed out. If you do need a private student loan, be sure to apply (along with a cosigner) as soon as possible.

Got any questions about paying for college? Ask us!

Caroline Hanson

About Caroline Hanson

Caroline is a communications consultant for Wells Fargo Education Financial Services. Although she has been known to forget her own ZIP code, she has memorized the lyrics to every bad 1970s pop song ever written. Unfortunately, she also loves karaoke. Caroline spends her spare time at Target®. She also likes biking slowly and has participated in RAGBRAI. Caroline is a graduate of Iowa State University and has worked in journalism and public relations for the past 14 years. She lives in Iowa with her husband and has a 19-year-old stepdaughter and 2-year-old son.
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4 Responses to Get your financial aid in order for fall

  1. Karla Smith says:

    I’m already attending college and need some help paying my tuition. How do I go about applying for some grants?

    • Barbara Raus Barbara says:

      Karla – Did you file a FAFSA? That is the key to federal grants you may qualify for. Your school’s financial aid office could give you more information about specific grants at that institution. You may also want to do a web search to see if there are any private grants for students with your interests or in your field of study.

  2. Ranesha Jackson says:

    I took out a stafford loan with wells fargo last semester and i was wondering if i have to reapply for that every semester.

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