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 demystifies the college financing process.
Students and parents can begin the financial aid application process as early as October 1, by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. 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.com.
“College affordability is a major challenge for many families in Malden,” said Representative Steve Ultrino. “By applying for state and federal financial aid, students may qualify for some relief from the high cost of college. As your state representative, I will continue to fight for greater investments in our state higher education system, and investments in state-supported financial aid.”
Each year, Massachusetts students secure millions of dollars in grants, scholarships and low-interest loans from federal and state governments, colleges and universities, and private sources of aid. 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.
American Student Assistance® College Planning Centers, located throughout Greater Boston and Brockton, offer free one-on-one assistance with completing financial aid applications or any aspect of college planning. Services are available either in-person, on a walk-in or appointment basis, or over the phone by calling the toll-free information hotline 1-877-ED-AID-4U (1-877-332-4348). ASA’s hotline is provided with funding and support from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education - Office of Student Financial Assistance. For guidance, information on the Center closest to you, or Center hours of operation and specific locations, please call the hotline or visit www.asa.org/plan.
Additionally, ASA’s Boston College Planning Center, located at the main branch of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square, is holding FAFSA Workshops every Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. and Federal Student Aid ID Workshops every Tuesday from 6 to 7 p.m. beginning October 1 through December 16. An FSA ID is a necessary credential for accessing Federal Student Aid’s online systems, including the FAFSA. All workshops are free and open to the public. Interested attendees must RSVP to BostonCPC@ASA.org prior to attending a workshop.
“Time is of the essence when it comes to applying for financial aid because often the aid is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis,” said Kristi Pierce, ASA’s managing director of college planning services. “Students planning to attend college next fall should begin applying now and investigate all possible sources of aid.”