It's no secret that college tuition is expensive. But there are ways to lessen the cost, especially if students fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.
Financial aid advisors say this is the most important form of aid any student may receive.
Financial Aid Director for Northern Michigan University, Michael Rotundo, said, "Primarily looking for the family's income and assets, and as families are filling this information out, submitting it to the government, then the government is identifying back to the schools."
All students are eligible to receive $3,500 to $60,000 in Federal loans.
It's never too late to start applying for financial aid. Applicants that apply early will have a better chance of getting the maximum amount of aid available.
The deadline for the FAFSA is March 1 for Michigan schools, but there are ways to get other aid as well. Federal grants are available, ranging from $100 to $16,000. New scholarships are being created everyday by organizations, businesses, schools, and individuals as well.
Negaunee High School Guidance Counselor Michelle Morey said, "Usually there's something for everyone. It's often interesting what kind of quirky scholarships there are out there."
Scholarship applications often ask for three things: a GPA, an ACT or SAT score, and if the student has done any community service.
Negaunee High School senior Aaron Argall has been applying for all forms of aid since the beginning of the school year.
Argall said, "The positive side of applying is that, at least you tried. You could be one of those seniors that don't do anything and think, 'Oh, I'm not going to get it so why should I even waste my time and put forth effort?' I think, well why not?"
Doing a simple search online or visiting your guidance counselor will open up lots of financial aid opportunities students might not know about.
Click here for the FAFSA website.
Click here for a website full of scholarships.