Online Resources on Financial Aid

You don't need to pay someone to help you sort through your financial aid options; in fact, you don't even need to leave your house. Here are some of the best online resources for understanding financial aid.

Federal Resources

  • Student Aid on the Web: This is the website for the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid program. Here you can learn about the different types of Federal aid available, how to fill out the FAFSA, and what sorts of funding you can expect based on your income level. There are also tips for lowering college costs.
  • Higher Education Opportunity Act: Want to compare the net costs of different schools, or how much college costs in different states? This Federal act has compiled this information into an easy to browse format.
  • Calculators and Interest Rate: If you're curious how long it takes to pay off loans at certain interest rates, or how much interest you'll eventually end up paying, you can use this handy calculator.
  • Budget Calculator: Deciding how much money you'll actually need to attend school can be complicated, with all the hidden and minor expenses that can come up. The Department of Education has a thorough budget calculator that can help.

State Resources

  • College Costs: Although it specifically pertains to higher education costs in Washington state, this page is useful for all higher education students. Learn how tuition costs and room and board compare at different types of schools. You can also see how college works out as a true investment, in the long term.
  • State Education Agencies: Most states have their own funding streams for college students. Learn about the scholarships, grants, and loans available from your state by checking out your state's education board.

Private Scholarships

  • FastWeb: This free search engine lets you modify your scholarship search to your specific search criteria.
  • Black College Dollars: Sallie Mae created this search engine specifically for African Americans looking to go to college. You can search by your GPA, current academic standing, and academic interests.
  • Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities: This nonprofit organization has compiled a list of private scholarships available to students of Hispanic backgrounds.
  • FinAid: This free search engine lets you search by your academic interests, and by the type of aid you're interested in receiving.
  • University of Michigan: The University of Michigan has another lengthy list of private scholarships, listed alphabetically.