Representative Ultrino Urges Constituents to Apply for Financial Aid to Help Pay for College

MALDEN – Paying for college is daunting, but Representative Steve Ultrino (D – Malden) wants students and their families to know that help locating and applying for financial aid is available with free assistance from American Student Assistance®, the local nonprofit that empowers students and families to make better decisions about financing higher education and repaying student loans.

Last year, Massachusetts students secured more than $1 billion in grants and low-interest loans from federal and state governments, as well as millions of dollars in scholarships from colleges and universities. Students and their families need to know these resources exist and may need assistance navigating the complex process.  ASA® can help applicants through this process with free guidance.

“Higher education can help millions of students join the middle class, but an affordable college education is out of reach for too many Malden families,” said Representative Ultrino, who was the first in his family to go to college. “By completing a FAFSA application early in the year, students will have a better shot at low-interest loans, Pell Grants, and other forms of state and federal aid.”

Federal and state governments, along with colleges and universities, are the major sources of financial aid.  Students begin the process of applying for both federal and state aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  This document is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  Many private colleges and universities also require a second form, the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE®, which is available at www.collegeboard.org.

To receive free guidance on identifying sources of financial aid and completing applications, students and families throughout Massachusetts may call ASA’s® toll-free information hotline at 1-877-332-4348 or visit one of ASA’s College Planning Centers in Boston and Brockton, Mass.  For hours of operation, visit www.asa.org/plan. ASA’s hotline is made available through a partnership among the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and ASA.

“Time is of the essence, and students planning to attend college next fall should begin the financial aid application process now,” said Kristi Pierce, ASA’s managing director of college planning services.  “Students should apply early – as soon after January 1st as possible - and investigate all possible sources of aid.”

ASA College Planning Centers provide one-on-one information and advice on applying for financial aid and other concerns related to college planning.  All ASA College Planning Center services are free. For guidance or for information on the Center closest to you, please call 1-877-ED-AID-4U (1-877-332-4348) or visit www.asa.org/plan.