Financial Aid Information
Click here to access the U.S.
Department of Education's Financial Aid Toolkit
How can I pay for college?
To whatever extent is possible, work toward
paying for your college expenses by earning scholarships, obtaining
grants and using campus work-study opportunities. Many sources are
available for finding these types of financial aid, free of
charge. Some of the best FREE places we have found to seek
financial assistance include:
- Local scholarships and contests (posted on bulletin board in
Most importantly, contact the financial aid offices
at the various colleges that you plan to attend. At least
once per semester while you are in college, you also should check
with your financial aid office to inquire about additional
scholarships, work-study opportunities and internships that may be
available for the upcoming semester/year. Stay ahead of any
deadlines the college sets for financial aid applications!
If you have exhausted all other opportunities for
scholarships or grants and still have more college expenses that
must be covered, carefully examine options for requesting reputable
student loans through your college. Be aware that all student loans must eventually be
repaid, with interest, and that college-related debts can
accumulate quickly and require many years of being in debt.
Speak personally with financial aid representatives at your college
to find out about the most economical and manageable student loan
options for your situation, always thinking ahead to what your
other financial obligations may include during future years.
How do I apply for financial aid?
Complete all applications for scholarships and/or
financial aid for each college or technical school you are
considering. Most can be found online at their websites. Make sure
you meet all the deadlines. Check their Net Price or True Cost
Calculators to help estimate your financial aid options at each
school. Some schools may require a CSS/PROFILE in addition to the
File FAFSA documentation a.s.a.p. after January 1
each year that you
will be in college. FAFSA information is automatically
forwarded to the financial aid departments at whatever college(s)
you specify, so list all colleges you might possibly be interested
in attending. Usually within a few weeks after your FAFSA
information is completed, you should begin receiving letters and/or
emails from the college financial aid office(s) about the specific
amounts of aid they can make available for you. NOTE: Be sure
that you are using www.fafsa.ed.gov, NOT fafsa.com. This can help
avoid unnecessary delays or possible "fees" that some sites may
attempt to charge.
If you will be attending college in Mississippi,
apply for state grants and scholarships (MTAG, HELP, or MESG, etc.)
a.s.a.p. after January 1 each academic year that
you will be in college. Stay ahead of deadlines, which are
different for each scholarship. Call the Mississippi Office of
Student Financial Aid at 800-327-2980 or 601-432-6997, or visit www.mississippi.edu/financialaid.
Request information about work-study, scholarships,
co-op and internship opportunities - check with educators,
administrators, and department bulletin boards at your college.
Remember, if you work hard on your academic studies
and keep in good communication with professors and department heads
during your freshman year, you likely will be able to learn about
additional scholarships and financial aid sources for each year you
are in college. Also visit www.get2college.org for more
If you begin your studies at a community college
and maintain good grades and academic standing, you may become
eligible for substantial Transfer scholarships (such as Phi Theta
Kappa) offered by four-year colleges and universities. Check with
financial aid representatives and transfer coordinators at each
school to find your best options.
Apply for as many scholarships and grants as you
can! Your goal is to have a minimum of student loans, to be
as debt-free as possible, when you finish college or technical