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Navigating Financial Aid Requirements Before College Begins

Congratulations! You’ve accepted the admissions offer to attend college and your post-secondary journey is beginning! Now on to the not-so-fun part: the paperwork. If you’re accepting loans or participating in work study, there are quite a few tasks to complete in order for the money to be allocated to your account. If you have not already, please review this link for more on completing requirements before the beginning of your first fall semester. Just remember: your Money Mentor can help you organize your requirements and due dates!

Work Study

Every college has a different work study requirement, so make sure to look over the financial aid letter to see what the next steps are for you. For instance, Rutgers-New Brunswick students fill out an application that allows them to list their top three choices from a list of work study specific jobs, and placement is based on a first-come, first-served rule, as many jobs require the same skill set. Other colleges may ask students to come in for an interview in the fall, so just make sure to call the office that handles work study, which is usually the financial aid office, and ask about the process.

Federal Loans

When accepting federal subsidized and/or unsubsidized loans, colleges will require you to complete at least two online programs: Loan Counseling and the Master Promissory Note. You need your FSA ID and password to log on and complete these two programs, which you can do from the comfort of your room. There is no one uniform way to accept the Perkins loan, though, because each college has its own process for allocating these funds. The funding comes through the federal government, but it is allocated by the college to the students. Make sure to check with your financial aid office to see what documents you will fill out and how you should submit them (i.e. through a portal, through an email, or in person). Also, remember to submit everything by the college’s deadline, or you will not be able to receive these funds!

Private Loans

For most private loans, you will need to fill out an application and wait to be verified. For instance, SallieMae, one of the most popular sources for private student loans, requires you to complete an application and get it co-signed by a parent or anyone who can vouch for your financial credibility. Make sure to check out more information on these kinds of loans here.

State Aid

Some states may offer you funding if you attend a state college. This may come in the form of loans or gift aid (which you do not have to pay back). Some states may require you to fill out forms after you have been approved for funding, just to make sure you are receiving the right amount. For instance, New Jersey just created a new portal for the 2017-2018 school year that allows you to check any missing forms and submit them online. Thus, make sure to check your state’s Department of Education website to verify that you are completing the right forms on time and submitting them in the right format.

Need more help? Don’t worry, NextGenVest’s Money Mentors can help you get organized! Text your MM now!