Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Get a head start on college financial aid

Nearly 2 million college students miss out on free money annually because they don't fill out federal forms for financial aid, which is awarded based on need and merit. Don't be among them -- with tax season upon us, it's an ideal time to send in financial aid forms for yourself or the kids.

'Don't pay more for college than you have to," says Martha Holler, spokesperson for Sallie Mae, the nation's leading provider of saving- and paying-for-college programs.

Fill out federal forms for scholarships, grants and low-interest student loans online at or get hard copies at high school guidance counselor's and college financial aid offices. Save yourself some time, too, by doing them simultaneously with taxes.

Sallie Mae's College Answer Web site also has a checklist to help you gather documents needed to complete financial aid forms and a free scholarship search that provides access to an award database containing more than 2.8 million scholarships worth in excess of $16 billion.

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