10 Resources for Financial Aid Planning

Financial aid applications can feel overwhelming for all families. There are, however, resources easily available to help ease the process. Here are ten suggestions.



Meeting College Costs: A Workbook for Families, annual College Board publication.

Funding Your Education: The Guide to Federal Student Aid 2012-2013, the Department of Education’s annual publication explaining the rules of federal financial aid programs.

Mark Kantrowitz’s Question and Answer Series on The Choice, the New York Times’s higher education blog, is a good supplement to his Financial Aid website.

Ten Things Financial Aid Offices Won’t Say”, Smart Money Magazine is a sharp-eyed looked at financial aid decision-making

FinAid Ask the Aid Advisor is a great way to explain the specifics of your situation and get advice on-line.


The Two Most Important Applications

The U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website page on FAFSA: Apply for Aid offers good explanations of how to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is the single most important document every family should file if they want to receive financial aid.

The College Board’s webpage “How to Complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE” is a useful tool. The PROFILE is commonly used by private colleges, and requires information beyond the FAFSA application.


Scholarship Searches

Kaarme, a website collecting scholarship information. Most scholarship searches are for-profit and will attempt to sell services and products. Kaarme is parent sponsored.

The Institute for Educational Advancement’s Contest, Award and Scholarship Searchis a comprehensive on-line scholarship listing. 

The first blog entry I wrote, “How to Search for College Scholarships,” offers advice on how to find scholarships not included in established reference sources.


Good luck!