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Financial Aid Basics: What Students & Families Need to Know

Choosing to pursue postsecondary education is one of the most important decisions a young person can make. 

As a school counselor, college counselor, college adviser, or admission rep you are uniquely qualified to help applicants navigate the admission process. And increasingly, students and parents also turn to you as they sort through complex questions about financial aid, college affordability, and the value of a degree. What’s an admission professional to do?

No, you don’t need to become a financial adviser to the families you serve. But good information can go a long way when helping students make the right college choice, especially when counseling applicants whose understandable confusion about the financial aid process threatens to derail their college dreams.

That’s why we’ve created this PowerPoint presentation. Download it now and use it when meeting with students and parents, and share it with your colleagues.

Graduation day!

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Related Resources

Paying for College

There are hundreds of websites that purport to offer families advice about the complicated issue of financial aid for college. NACAC has compiled this list of trusted, up-to-date sources to help your students and their families navigate this process.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The 2017-18 Free Application for Student Aid is now open. Encourage the students you serve to file for federal financial aid as soon as possible. Learn about the most recent changes to the FAFSA and resources to use with your students on this page.

Savings Plans & Tax Credits

Often overlooked and rarely discussed, higher education tax credits, deductions, and savings plans, offer eligible students and families additional assistance paying for college. NACAC encourages members to be aware of these options when advising the students and families they work with.