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Tracking Down Financial Aid
If youíre thinking of going back to school, financing your education will be one of the biggest considerations. There are many types of financial aid packages, each with its own rules for calculating benefits.
Here are a few strategies for finding the best deal:
Make contact with the aid office even before you submit an application for admission. The more they know about you, the better your chances of receiving assistance. Most families have something unusual in their financial picture, like outstanding hospital bills, or a one-time bonus that inflated taxable income.
Try to submit your financial information early. Donít wait until the deadlines when financial aid officers are under the most pressure and may be less willing to examine the particulars of your situation.
Keep detailed records. Write down the names of aid officers you talk to you, when you spoke, and the particulars of the discussion. If youíre applying to several schools, put together a spreadsheet of the aid packages so you can compare the offers.
Donít hesitate to ask to speak with the director of the financial aid office if youíre dissatisfied.
óAdapted from US News & World Report.com
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