Want to lose weight or quit smoking this year? Like most of us, you probably already have a New Year’s resolution or two in mind for 2015. But, perhaps you should add one more to the list before the year gets going. Want to attend college this year but need grants or scholarships to help you accomplish your scholastic goals in 2015? According to CNN Money, your search should start today.
January 1st is not only the day college students should start looking for college grants, it is in fact the very best day of each year to do so. CNN suggests that since the federal government starts accepting its annual application for the pell grant and all other federal student assistance for the coming school year today that it is the very best date each year for you to apply. By applying early, you both ensure that you make your state’s particular deadline (Some can occur quite quickly. Connecticut, for example, sets a deadline of February 15 for state financial aid.) and you tend to beat the rush. Applying early will get you an answer about your potential grant funding as quickly as possible so you can best prepare for the upcoming school year. The pell alone could give you up to $5,730 per year to put towards a college degree. The earlier you apply, the more likely you are to receive help before the money runs out for the 2015 program.
So what are you waiting for? Shove yourself away from those collards and black eyed peas and apply for government grant funding. The online FAFSA application only takes around 15 minutes to complete. And you can go ahead and mark one resolution off your list to start the year off right.
To apply for the pell grant and all other financial aid available through the U.S. government, you only have to fill out one online form. This form is called the FAFSA or the free application for federal student aid. In one easy application, all types of funding you could receive to attend college can be considered. This includes federal, state and school specific programs. This includes grants you do not have to pay back like the pell, school and state specific scholarships and even student loans. You should also contact the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend if you already know which college you’re most likely going to. They may have additional information for you on local grants and scholarships and can provide you with assistance in completing your student aid process. That is why they are there, after all. Don’t hesitate to call them.
If you don’t have time to fill out the FAFSA today, be sure to check funding deadlines where you live. Federal and state deadlines vary wildly depending on where you live. And some colleges impose their own school specific deadline to consider funding for this year. If you forget to apply until after these deadlines pass, you can be denied for funding even if you are eligible for the federal programs.
Another little known secret about applying early is that the earlier you apply the more money you can potentially receive. Some state programs and college specific funds are often strictly budgeted. These are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once these funds are earmarked for incoming students, that’s that. By not applying in time, you’ll simply have to wait another year to pursue your college plans.
So don’t miss out on your opportunity to attend school in 2015. Start your new year off by setting your sights on a college degree and a college grant to help you pay for it.