The first financial aid application you should complete is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or the FAFSA. You can either fill out a paper application, or you can go online. Completing the FAFSA online is easy and saves processing time. If you need help, visit your TS Coordinator at your school.
First, you and a parent will need to request your pin numbers. A pin number is your paperless signature, and it only takes 72 hours to receive one. In the mean time, you and your parent will need to gather your previous year's financial information (taxes and W-2s).
Once you and your parent have your pin number and financial information, go to FAFSA Online to complete your application. You are applying for the eligibility of grants, work-study, and low interest loans. Many scholarship applications require that a FAFSA be completed first. Scholarship committees sometimes use the information on the FAFSA to determine who to award scholarships to.
Remember, you need to reapply for Federal Financial Aid every year. However, you use the same pin numbers every year. So keep your pin numbers in a safe place.
Every year thousands of dollars of scholarship money is not awarded because students do not apply for it! There is a lot of free money for college, you just need to do some work to get it.
Research your local community to find out about local scholarships, for instance talk to your school, your employer, any organization you may be involved in, and the Chamber of Commerce are good starting points. Try the Internet for scholarship web sites.
Contact the colleges you are interested in attending, and ask them for their scholarship listings; contact the coaches if you are involved in sports. Most college scholarship applications are available online at their web sites.
All scholarship applications have deadlines so apply early. Start your scholarship search in your junior year to avoid missing deadlines.
Visit the Oregon Student Assistance Commission's website as they have numerous scholarships available.
Remember: Applying for financial aid and scholarships should be free! If you come across an organization offering free money but for a service fee, first find out if they are legitimate. See you TS/UB Specialist for more information.