Apply for Lots of Aid
You can fill out a FAFSA for federal-funded aid, but there are countless other sources of money for college. There are scholarships based on minority status, disability, grade point average, extracurricular participation or the college major you plan to pursue. You probably won't get every scholarship or grant you apply for, so apply for as many as you can find that you qualify for. Thousands of dollars in grant and scholarship money go unclaimed every year, and claiming some of that money for yourself can help you reduce your student loan debt. Don't forget to ask the financial aid office about institutional aid. Institutional aid is scholarship money that a university awards to its students, and it's a funding opportunity that lots of students miss during their applications. Your high school and university will give you information for free, and you can also get free info online [source: U.S. Department of Education].