The college choices in the Miami area are plentiful. There is no shortage of education in South Florida. But it’s not a secret that college isn’t cheap either—even for online degree programs!
While some students choose to pay for school out of pocket, not everyone has the means to go that route. There are a wide variety of financial aid options available to college students. Some opportunities are a little easier to find, while others will require a little more searching. It may take some time, but once you graduate and start having to pay your student loans back, you’ll quickly learn that it’s well worth the time spent.
Always Have a Backup for Financial Aid
These days, financial aid applications are naturally submitted along with the college application. In most college admissions departments, one cannot be accepted without the other. Even if you might not need financial aid, most universities require you fill out an application anyway in case you may need it further along in your college career.
The last thing you want to happen as a college student is to run out of financial resources. So even if you are able to pay for college up front, whether your college requires you to or not, always go through the steps to get approved for financial aid. This way, you’ll always have a backup for financial aid if you ever need it.
Having Everything You Need for the Application
For students who need financial aid, it’s just a matter of making sure that you have all of the required materials needed so that your application process can go through smoothly. If you’re missing just one piece of information, it can delay the entire admissions process and could prevent you from starting classes right away. As a result, you’d have to wait for the following semester, unless you’re enrolling into an online degree program.
Get an Early Start!
That’s why Florida National University (FNU) strongly encourages students to start the application process as soon as possible—even if they are undecided about what subject to major in. Many students underestimate how long the admissions and financial aid process can take. That is ultimately up to you in regards to how prepared you are.
Find out what the application requirements are for FNU students here.
Here’s What You Need to Do
The first step to applying for any type of student financial aid is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. You can download it from the official website, or have the financial aid office supply one for you. It’s recommended to have the university’s financial aid department assist you from the very beginning so there are no complications or misunderstandings that could delay the process.
Once you’ve completed the FAFSA form, you’ll then be eligible for all types of financial aid, grants, and scholarships since most of them require that you complete a FAFSA form anyway.
About the FAFSA Form
The FAFSA form takes about 30 minutes to fill out. For your ease and convenience, it can also be completed and submitted online. Throughout the online application process, help is provided. Again, the FNU admissions department is also on hand to assist you with completing the application.
The FAFSA form also opens the door to work-study opportunities.
While the FAFSA form is needed to apply for financial aid to acquire federal loans, many universities in the United States use this form to determine how much state funding to disperse to a student.
Filing out the FAFSA Form
It is required to complete the FAFSA form every year that you’re in school as financial situations can change. Something that most students may not know is that they can speed up the application process by retrieving most of the required information from their annual tax filing. You can get this from the Internal Revenue Service, or your tax preparer…or you may be highly organized and keep your own record of tax filings.
If you’re a student coming straight from high school, then it’s highly unlikely that you have any tax filings. But at any rate, FNU strongly recommends that you complete the FAFSA form even if your parents have to fill it out for you.
On to the Next Step…
Now that you’ve completed the FAFSA form, let’s talk about some of your financial aid options:
- Federal Loans
The operative word here is “loan”. That means that however much you are allowed to borrow, don’t take it all unless you absolutely need to! It’s highly recommended to borrow only what you need. As an undergraduate, you’re allowed a certain amount of funds each semester according to your enrollment status (full or part-time student). That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should borrow the full amount. Keep in mind that however much you borrow, you’ll have to pay back once you graduate.
In a perfect world, this where you’ll get all of your college funding! Grants are considered a financial gift. What this means for a college student is that you don’t have to pay these funds back. So it’s in your best interest to find as many grants as possible. Some grants are tailored for certain fields of study and others are general. Ask your university’s financial aid department about any grants that might be applicable to you.
- Scholarship Opportunities
Most colleges and universities offer scholarships that are funded by their own institution. Also, many alumni and community leaders partner with educational institutions to offer scholarships for students in certain degree programs. Visit our webpage for all of the scholarship opportunities that might be available to you as an FNU student.
- Tuition Incentives
If you work for the United States government as a civilian or part of the armed forces, you can receive a significant discount on your tuition. For government employees only, FNU grants a 15% discount for any bachelors or associate degree program that you choose to enroll in. For veterans or active-duty members in the military, read Ways FNU Helps Thank Veterans for Their Service here.
Other Financial Aid Resources (Downloadable Forms)
For more information visit FNU’s Consumer Information webpage here.
Ready to Start Classes?
As you can see, there are many things to cover during the admissions process. So start the application process now. FNU is a regionally accredited university located in Hialeah, Florida with another campus in Miami. Contact a FNU representative through our online form to learn more about our university. We can help you enroll today!