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Navigating financial aid at ASU: Tips you need to know


January 15, 2013

You received your letter of acceptance (Yay, you’re a Sun Devil!), you’ve paid your deposit, now how do you afford college?

When it comes to financial aid and applying for scholarships, the process and how to begin can be confusing. Melissa Pizzo, executive director of student financial assistance, has the advice you need to succeed.

Begin your scholarship search early. The earlier you begin looking for available scholarships, the more time you will have to gather your materials and find those you qualify for.

File a FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) shows your monetary need based on cost of attendance and expected family contribution. Many scholarships require this to apply for aid. Submit yours at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

Don’t hesitate to apply. While you may not meet every single requirement on the criteria list, you should still apply because you never know what could happen. It’s better to apply and not get it then potentially miss out on money.

Organize your materials. When applying, you may need your official transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, essays and FAFSA. Keep all of this information readily available as you fill out your applications.

Avoid common mistakes. To be human is to make mistakes, but you can still avoid pitfalls by doing simple things like reading all of the application directions, proofreading your documents and following the deadlines.

Look for resources to help where you need it. ASU offers workshops for those looking for help with their FAFSA, financial aid, scholarships and much more.

Look within your community organization and parent workplaces. You may find these outlets offer financial assistance for college students.

Understand your cost of attendance. This will help you create a budget and understand your needs. Include obvious things like tuition, but also personal expenses like food and transportation. Visit https://students.asu.edu/financialaid/budget or https://students.asu.edu/costs for more information.

Learn the different types of aid. Do some research into scholarships, grants, loans and work-study. Which best suit your needs and what are the details associated with each?

Attend College Goal Saturday or Sunday on Feb. 9 and 10. Here you will get answers to your questions and help with completing your FAFSA from ASU staff. https://students.asu.edu/cgs

Now that you have the information you need, begin doing your research and get started on the process. For additional questions, visit https://students.asu.edu/financialaid.