How do I pay for college? I would love to attend a welding program, but is there financial aid for that? These are questions that should be asked by anyone pursuing any education or training beyond high school. Two major categories of financial aid should be sought by those attending college or vocational programs. They are scholarships and FAFSA.
Scholarships are sponsored by colleges, individuals, business, and organizations. If you are a high school senior, please make sure you have filled out the scholarship applications at your college or vocational school. Also, check with your counselor to see how he/she posts information about scholarships. At Alton, they are posted in the "Counselor's Corner," the "Scholarship List," and the daily bulletin at the high school. If you are already in a post-secondary program, be sure to visit with the financial aid office at your school.
FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This process determines eligibility for federal and state grants and for student loans. To learn more about this process and to complete your application visit www.fafsa.gov. Parent and student tax information is required for this process. If you need help, college financial aid offices and your local counselor may have times set aside to assist you in this process.
It is very important to remember that deadlines will be set for both scholarships and FAFSA. Scholarship deadlines vary greatly. FAFSA deadlines will vary for the college or technical school, for the state government, and for the federal government. Missouri's state deadline is April 1. Many colleges and programs are earlier.
While the financial aid process may seem daunting, it can be very beneficial financially. Please take the time to pursue all opportunities to receive financial help for college or vocational programs.