Top 5 Tips For Applying For Financial Aid


Be Thorough, Neat and Organized

Don't be like this guy. Stay focused, organized and neat while filling out and submitting financial aid applications.
Don't be like this guy. Stay focused, organized and neat while filling out and submitting financial aid applications.

Staying focused and creating a neat application can go a long way. Remember that your application serves as your first impression with financial aid officials. A clean, organized application indicates you're serious about your education. If you submit a torn, stained or disorganized application, it sends the wrong message.

While a neat application won't necessarily guarantee you that scholarship you're hoping for, a dirty one can eliminate you from consideration. Make certain that everything you submit is intelligible and accurate. This can help your application make it past the initial cut.

Always remember that sending an application in as early as the requirements allow will give you a better shot at receiving the best financial aid. As time passes, colleges and private organizations will award scholarships and grants to students. The longer you wait, the less likely you may be to receive the aid you need.

With some research and care, you may be able to find programs that fit your financial and scholarly needs. Keep in mind that a little hard work can help you pay for part of -- or possibly even your entire -- education.

For more on college financial aid, invest some time in the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • BusinessWeek Online. "The Inside Track to College Cash." Jan. 25, 2005. (Dec. 30, 2009)
  • Chany, Kalman. "5 Financial Aid Tips." Careers & Colleges. Nov/Dec. 2004, Vol. 25, Issue 2, p. 7.
  • Coffey, Laura T. "Paying for college without breaking the bank." Jan. 17, 2007. (Dec. 30, 2009)
  • Federal Student Aid. (Dec. 29, 2009)
  • Financial Aid Tips. (Dec. 29, 2009)
  • "Top College Financial Aid Tips." (Dec. 29, 2009)
  • National Center for Education Statistics. "Fast Facts." (Dec. 29, 2009)
  • Peterson's. "Top Ten Financial Aid Tips for Parents." (Dec. 29, 2009)
  • The Sallie Mae Fund. "Top 10 Tips for Planning and Paying for College." (Dec. 30, 2009)
  • "Financial Aid." (Dec. 29, 2009)
  • Steinbacher, Michele. "Tips, resources for college tuition." Tribune Business News. Jun. 14, 2009.
  • Thompson, Derek. "Financial Aid Special Report." BusinessWeek Online. Feb. 5, 2008. (Dec. 30, 2009)


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