Financial Help for College Next Year

December 8, 2015

CollegeKidDid you know that over $150 billion in federal student aid is available through grants, work study, and loans every year? Often, students and their parent don’t realize that money is available to help them pay for college. The thing is, they have to apply for it.

If you are a high school student applying to college now, you must complete your federal student aid forms early next year. Since these forms are based on parents’ tax returns, it’s a good idea to start thinking about getting your 1040s filed early if your child is applying for aid.

We have been told by parents who filed for aid a few years ago that the process has gotten easier. Now the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is linked to the IRS and your tax returns. That makes the application that much easier to complete.

We know of one friend of ours who had 4 kids in college at once. He shuttered to think at the amount of time he spent on the FAFSA transposing his tax returns to the aid forms four times. In the end, though, it was worth it. His children got the aid and loans they needed and they are now graduated with good jobs and doing well.

Also, in a Utica OD editorial a few days ago, our Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi encouraged high school seniors interested in STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) to apply for New York State’s new STEM Scholarship. It will provide full SUNY tuition to students in the top 10 percent of their high school class if they pursue a STEM associates or bachelor’s degree program at a SUNY or CUNY school.

So what other types of Federal Aid is there for students attending college? Here’s a list of what’s available according to the U.S. Department of Education;

Federal Pell Grant: For undergrads with financial need.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): For undergrads with exceptional need.
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Ed (TEACH): For undergrads and grad students who plan to become teachers.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant: For students not Pell eligible but whose parent died as a result of military service after 9/11.
Federal Work-Study: jobs for students at federal minimum wage.
Direct Plus Loans: for parents of undergrad, graduate, and professional students.

We found a website that provides good information about all of this at Federal Student Aid. From how to apply to what you can get, this is a useful site of the U. S. Department of Education.

And what about your son’s or daughter’s stuff when they get to college. What happens if their laptop is stolen or there’s a fire in the dorm. Check out our post here for more information on your child’s property while away at college.

If you or your child is applying to college this year, we congratulate you and wish you the best of luck. And let’s hope that some of you students will be able to return here to the Utica area to make your living, raise your family, and enjoy everything there is to love about Mohawk Valley life.

Until next time,
Your SZW Team

Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc. is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.