Thinking about college, but don’t know how to pay for it?

If you are considering financial aid, here’s some important information.

Outstanding student loans total more than one trillion dollars. Can you afford a college education? Are there scholarships or grants? Before you decide to borrow money for college do some research and make a plan. Check out this article from Michigan State University Extension’s Terry Clark-Jones for some creative ways to pay off student loan debt. Ask questions and get started with a plan.

Are you eligible for federal student aid? The basic eligibility for federal student aid is explained online. In summary:

  • You must qualify to obtain a college or career school education by having a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or complete your high school education in a homeschool setting approved by your state.
  • You must at least be accepted as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program.
  • If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25, you must be registered with Selective Service.
  • You must have a valid Social Security number unless you are from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau.
  • You must sign certifying statements on the FAFSA stating you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe a refund on a federal grant, as well as, that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.
  • You must Maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school
  • Be a U. S. Citizen or U. S. National, or have a Green Card, or have an Arrival-Departure Record, or have Battered Immigrant Status, or have a T-Visa.

Have you filled out a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)? If you have not, find out more and start filling out the FAFSA online.

Have you filled out a FAFSA in the past? You need to fill one out every year, and if you have a Federal Student Aid PIN you will need to replace it with an FSA ID. What is the FSA ID?

  • The FSA ID is the username and password you use when you visit certain U. S. Department of Education websites.
  • When you type in your FSA ID at these sites, you are saying either “Yes, it’s really me” or “Please accept my FSA ID as my signature.”
  • You will need your Social Security number to get an FSA ID.
  • You will need your full name and it must match your Social Security card.
  • You will need your date of birth.

For more information or to create your FSA ID, you can go to their website.

If you have questions, or would like to ask an expert like Terry Clark-Jones, Michigan State University Extension has access to many resources. Visit the Mi Money Health page for more information and answers to your questions.

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