FAFSA Online Secret: Other Financial Aid Options

This one isn't really FAFSA related. The secret is this - the FAFSA controls access to federal financial aid, and in some cases, state or institutional aid. However, the FAFSA isn't the only game in town. There are other sources of aid, other ways of getting money for school that are complementary to the FAFSA process. A few to keep in mind:


Scholarships are essentially free money. The more you get, the better. Finding scholarships is time consuming, but somewhat easier with the Internet, and there are good free services for finding scholarships. One free service we recommend is Free Scholarship Search from StudentScholarshipSearch.com, which has more than $9 billion in scholarships.

We also strongly recommend our free eBook for scholarship hunting.

Private Student Loans

Private student loans are loans which are based on credit, not need. If you're turned down for federal financial aid, or if federal financial aid isn't enough to cover the cost of education, students (with creditworthy cosigners) can apply for private student loans, up to $30,000 per academic year. Beware of high interest rates! Some private student loans can carry predatory rates, from 14% to an astonishing 33%. We recommend Private student loans from PrivateStudentLoans.com, which helps compare different types of private student loans. Important: we strongly encourage you to file the FAFSA and get federal student loans first!

This concludes the end of our FAFSA secrets. Now it's time for you to file your FAFSA!

Next Step:

File a FAFSA now!

FAFSA Help Guide: Closing Questions