Financial Literacy: Filling Out the FAFSA

How are you paying for college?

When considering higher education options for yourself or your loved ones, the biggest question is often ‘how am I going to afford this?’ A college education can provide enormous benefits both personally and professionally. It also ranks highly in terms of the price tag.

Fortunately, options do exist! Most four-year colleges in the United States rely on the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, to dole out scholarships, grants and loans to students. The FAFSA for the 2022-2023 school year is already available to fill out online. While you are not required to fill out the FAFSA, failing to do so may make you ineligible to receive financial aid from your school.

If phrases like ‘financial aid’ and ‘tuition and fees’ strike fear in your heart, join us on Tuesday, October 19 at 6pm for our upcoming Financial Aid for Education: FAFSA How-To program. Presented in partnership with Bank of America, you’ll learn six key things you need to know before you fill it out. You can register for this virtual program at any time, or watch the workshop recording on YouTube once it has been posted.


Additional Resources

Looking for more help with financial aid? Check out some of Plano Public Library’s resources below!


The Scholarship and Financial Aid Solution: How to Go to College for Next to Nothing with Short Cuts, Tricks and Tips from Start to Finish by Debra Lipphardt

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With more than $134 billion in financial aid available, you need to know how to earmark some of that money? the completely revised and updated second edition of this book will show you how. It is a guide for students, parents, and school personnel to assist in finding and obtaining scholarships. Even if you do not have above-average grades or participate in lots of extracurricular activities, you can find money to go to college.


College Planning Using Dual Enrollment: Optimizing High School for College Admission & Financial Aid by Kathe Lee

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Getting into college is fairly easy. Getting out of college without going broke is the real trick! What you do in high school will determine which colleges reward you with admissions and how much non-loan aid, if any, they will offer. To get into a good college and get it paid for, you have to do the right things at the right time and in the right way. 


Peterson’s How to Get Money For College

Place a Hold: 2021 Edition / 2020 Edition

This directory contains information on financial opportunities for college including federal grants, work-study programs, need-based and non-need-based gift aid, and athletic awards from more than 2,200 four-year colleges.


Colleges that Pay You Back: The 200 Schools that Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck by Robert Franek

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Profiles two hundred schools on their financial value, including academics, cost of attendance, financial aid, post-grad salary figures, and job satisfaction ratings from alumni.


1001 Ways to Pay for College by Gen S. Tanabe

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A resource for collegebound students and their parents on college financial aid, scholarships, loans, and grants. Provides strategies for finding and winning scholarships, tax credits, asking for more financial aid, saving, student loan forgiveness, financial aid applications, state financial aid, military service, adult students, graduate students, and internships.


501 Ways for Adult Students to Pay for College by Gen S. Tanabe

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More and more adults are going to college, whether to further their career, start a new one, or just fulfill a dream. If you are thinking of going back to school– or going for the first time– the Tanabes show you ways to pay for college that you may not have considered.


Get Free Cash for College: Secrets to Winning Scholarships by Gen S. Tanabe

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The secrets, tips, and strategies used by actual students to win millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships are revealed in this completely revised guide for parents and high school, college, and graduate students. Every step of the scholarship process is examined, with advice on finding the right scholarships, crafting applications, writing exceptional essays, and asking the college for a financial aid reassessment. Profiles of scholarship judges give potential applicants insight into the scholarship selection process and the qualities that judges seek in selecting the winners. A fully updated scholarship directory contains the top 175 scholarships that anyone can win with awards worth more than $100 million; examples of winning scholarship applications, essays, and interview questions and answers are also included.


Student Loan Solution: 5 Steps to Take Control of Your Student Loans and Financial Life by Author

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Carlson breaks down the complexity of student loans by taking a step-by-step approach to understanding your loans, repayment options, and more. He also gives advice on how to improve your general financial life, such as examining your money mindset, creating a budget that works, and such.


We hope that these resources help you on your financial literacy journey. Check out more of our Thinking Money posts, including booklists. You can find all of these and more at your local Plano Public Library

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