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Help your kids complete the FAFSA with these tips.

Financial Aid for College: Many State Applications Are Due Soon

The federal government offers more than $150 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds to students each year. To see if you qualify for aid, you must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly called the FAFSA.

Many states and colleges use your FAFSA data to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.

Check the application deadlines for your stateMany state deadlines occur in early 2014. Also check the deadlines for your college. 

Get more information about financial aid for college or career school.

how long will it take to get my financial aid award?

Asked by an anonymous Tumblr user.

It depends on the type of award. According to Federal Student Aid:

Generally, your grant or loan will cover a full academic year and your school will disburse (pay out) your money in at least two payments called disbursements. In most cases, your school must pay you at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter). Schools that don’t use traditional terms such as semesters or quarters usually must pay you at least twice per academic year—for instance, at the beginning and midpoint of your academic year.

If you will have a work-study job, then you’ll be paid at least once a month.

Learn more about receiving federal student aid.

You don’t have to accept all financial aid you receive. Start by accepting aid you don’t have to pay back. Get more tips on accepting financial aid.