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Deadline nears for college financial aid applications

FALLBROOK – Parents and students should currently be in the process of filing the free application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA, for 2010-2011. The form can be procured through the organization website, via phone and in many high schools.

The FAFSA is used by the federal government to calculate the minimum amount a family is expected to contribute to their child’s college expenses and whether or not they qualify for government aid. The family must provide information about family income, assets and other financial details.

Based on a student’s financial need, a college may offer a combination of grants, loans and work-study. Grant money does not have to be repaid. Typically, students are offered loans, but they also may be extended to parents if needed. Parents should make sure their student takes advantage of all existing federal options first because the interest rates are much better, as are the repayment terms. Also, work-study programs on campus help make balancing working and studying easier, while defraying school expenses.

The current economy is creating more financial need for families across all income levels. However, “Families who show income and assets exceeding $80,000 will likely see more loan than grant offers and be expected to make a bigger personal contribution,” says Glenda Barahona, a financial aid educator with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

To learn more, visit

http://www.collegeboard.com or call 800-323-7155.

 

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