HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Paying for college is a struggle for many families, especially in this tough economy. But the Honolulu Kaplan Center says there are still a lot of opportunities out there for students to take advantage of. College admissions expert Ken Newman joins us this morning.
Promising News for Applicants
According to a recent National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators survey, 55 percent of colleges said they increased aid for the 2009-2010 academic year -indicating that as the economy worsened, colleges stepped up.
The maximum Pell Grant will increase from $5,350 to $5,550 for the 2010-2011 academic year - though that doesn't nearly keep up with colleges' tuition and fee increases.
The online version the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - available since January 1 at www.fafsa.gov is now shorter and simpler.
Sources of Financial Aid
The best place to start the financial aid process is by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the gateway to the majority of financial aid awarded to college students.
This is money awarded by many colleges, universities and private scholarship programs (e.g. civic programs, industry associations or other institutions)Institutional aid comes in three forms (all federal aid is need-based):
This is financial aid awarded for various achievements - based on merit, need or community service. Scholarships can be awarded for just about anything - accomplishments, race, membership in certain organizations, parent's community involvement, grades, anticipated field of study, etc. Students should take the time to formally search for scholarships.
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