College board is an organization that specializes in helping students achieve a college education. They do this in several ways, including college board financial aid. College board suggests seven steps to approaching financial aid, from planning to discerning your need to applying. The seven steps are as follows:
- Find out what college will cost. The college board financial aid page has a cost calculator that can help you get a good idea of what college will cost for either you or your child. At this early stage, don’t just look at colleges that seem inexpensive; look at any college you think might fit your needs.
- See if you’re saving enough. The college board financial aid savings calculator will help you determine how much you have, how much you will accrue in compound interest, and how you might need to modify your savings plan.
- Estimate your share. College board has an expected family contribution calculator, which will help you determine how much your school or the government will identify as your family’s contribution, whether you are the student or your child is.
- Search for scholarships. College board does have a scholarship search, but there are also other reputable scholarship search sites, such as FastWeb, or you can simply use your school’s database to find scholarships. Make sure to look for scholarships in your area of study, ethnic group, gender, age, hobbies, and religion.
- Apply for aid and loans. Try to avoid loans if you can, but be aware that most students have to take out a loan at some point. Before you decide on a college, apply for all the financial aid you qualify to get.
- Compare your aid awards. Different schools may have different financial aid packages, so apply at any school you’re serious about attending. A big difference in awards might help you decide which college to go to.
- Your financial aid summary. Gather all your information about your prospective colleges in one place, including your financial aid awards, and make the best, most informed choice about which school will be right for you.
College board is dedicated to helping students and their families have successful college experiences that lead to successful careers. College board financial aid help is just one way that they try to give students what they need in order to make the best choices for their learning and their lives.