Stay on track with financing college


college kids

High school graduation is right around the corner. There’s no way your baby is old enough to be going off to college. You just waved goodbye to kindergarten and you’re dealing with the fact you really do have a child old enough to be in college. And it costs how much? What do we need to do when? What’s a parent to do?

We know there are many important steps to getting your son or daughter into school, so here’s a college preparation checklist to help keep you on track:

Now:
• Complete income tax forms as early as possible (information is needed to complete federal and state financial aid applications)
• Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Pennsylvania State Grant Application. The FAFSA can be completed online at www.fafsa.gov and the PA state grant application can be found at www.pheaa.org.
• If the college/university requires additional documents or applications, be sure to complete those, too. Make sure all forms are completed before each school’s deadline.
• Continue searching for scholarships now and the entire way through college.
• Plan college visits if you’re still deciding on the right school.

April through June:
• Financial aid packages/award letters and college acceptance letters will start rolling in from schools. Keep track of them and pay attention to any deadlines.
• Thoroughly review the award letters to determine how much financial aid (grants, scholarships, work-study and loans) you’ll receive and how much is still needed to bridge the gap between the cost of attendance and the amount of aid offered.
• If financial aid and college savings plans aren’t enough to cover all school-related expenses, start researching additional options (ex. monthly payment plans with the school, federal & private student loans, etc.)
• Attend one of our financial aid seminars for addition details on financing a college education. They’re scheduled for April 24, May 22 and June 26. You can register online at
www.members1st.org.
• Complete applications for student loans if necessary.
• Open a checking account and VISA® Debit Card with us for your child and set up across account transfer capability so you can transfer money from your account to your child’s account.
• Celebrate graduation with family and friends!

Not sure what do make of the entire student loan process or just need to talk to someone with some expertise? Call Tiffanie DeVan, our Specialty Loan Administrator, at (800) 283-2328, ext. 6017 or (717) 795-6017 or email devant@members1st.org.

 

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