Last time I shared with you a fabulous and tasty recipe for financial organization based on the article titled “40 Money Management Tips Every College Student Should Know”.  Today I want to share with you some tips about financial aid.  When I was in college I always hated going into the financial aid office.  It was frustrating to me because I had no idea what I was doing and I felt helpless.  This article will probably not hit the specifics of your individual financial aid because each award is different.  However, the tips I am going to share will definitely help anyone understand how to understand their financial aid.  Make sense?  Okay let’s get started! First of all, there are three different types of financial aid:  Scholarships/grants, work study positions, and student loans.  Student loans should be used as a last resort after you have exhausted all other options.  Instead, look for scholarships and grants.  So many grants and scholarships go unnoticed.  Even a $250 grant can help cover the cost of books for a semester.  You’re on the internet now, so I know that you are computer savvy.  Look up scholarships at websites like www.ed.gov and www.collegboard.com.  Check out the website of the college you want to go to and find scholarships there.  Ask individual organizations if they offer grants or scholarships for continued education.  People are giving away free money for college left and right, all you have to do is go out and get it. Work study programs are a great way to earn money toward your college education.  Federal and non-federal are your options when it comes to work study.  Hopefully by now you have heard of FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) which is a form you must complete and turn in each year.  This form determines your eligibility for federal student financial aid.  Non-federal work study is not based on financial need and there are all kinds of opportunities for non-FWS positions at each school.  Just stop in to your Financial Aid Office and ask for a list of available positions or apply online at your school’s website. If you have exhausted all of your options and need to get a loan, make sure you read the terms thoroughly and have someone explain it to you. The bottom line here is to do your homework.  Know what you are getting yourself into.  Is there a certain GPA you need to maintain to keep those funds coming in?  Are there extra-curricular activities or volunteer hours that you need to log in order to keep the money flowing?  Research isn’t just for final papers; make sure you are doing it on all of your financial agreements.

Hi, I'm Malori, one of your Vibe Ninjas. I graduated from the University of Michigan - Flint in 2008 with a B.A. in Organizational Communication and a minor in Español. I applied at ELGA during a job fair at U of M and started full time immediately after graduation. To top that all off, in April of 2011 I married Brian, the love of my life. So, now that you know a little bit about where I'm coming from, maybe you can relate a little better. I hope the advice, ramblings, life experiences, and occasional lame jokes in my posts will benefit you in some way. We're all in this journey together. I'd love to hear your story and your comments!

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