Paying for College

Financial Aid Awareness Month

February is Financial Aid Awareness Month. Did you know that? I'll be honest; I didn't.

That is, I didn't until I received a helpful message from a gentleman at, which said, in part:

In the spirit of Financial Aid Awareness Month, I wanted to let you know about a helpful financial aid resource we just recently updated.

It's our guide that covers all aspects of private student loans. It offers details about the various lenders including the risks and benefits of each, the eligibility requirements, and also details how repayment, interest rates, and cosigning works.

Here is the page:

Please understand that as a blogger, I get a tremendous amount of solicitations from those who want me to include information about their products of services as part of my Admit This! postings. In some cases, their requests are puzzling.

For example, last week I got a message from a company representative who wanted me to alert my readers about a new kind of drywall product and process. I had to wonder how that person saw a connection between drywall and college admissions. I guess I could have done a post along the lines of "the construction of an effective college application," with tips about "nailing your essay," how to avoid "cutting corners," and "painting the most effective self-portrait." But I chose not to.

However, along with its important message alerting me to to Financial Aid Awareness Month (FAAM), I thought that the message from included some very helpful information for my readers, so I want to pass along some of that to you today.

First, however, a little background on this special month. has an enlightening tutorial on FAAM. If you are new to the college aid game, I suggest that you take a look at it and read and learn. Here's a preview of some things you'll find there, starting with the introduction:

February is one short month jam-packed with tons of important events!

Yep, February claims Groundhog's Day, Black History Month, Ash Wednesday, Valentine's Day and President's Day.

While you probably thought that was enough to fill such a short month, there's one very important celebration that takes place all month long that you likely overlooked.

But, at Fastweb, it's one of our favorites!

February is also Financial Aid Awareness Month. It's clearly the perfect time to celebrate by completing your FAFSA form, learn some more about financial aid and how to score more of it in the meantime.

Have no fear, FastWeb's here to help – especially during this month of celebration.

In honor of Financial Aid Awareness Month and, of course, in hopes to help you better understand and assess all of your financial aid options, we've listed some resources you can utilize to learn more about financial aid:

What's the FAFSA? A General Overview

Filling Out Your FAFSA

FAFSA Fumbles

Financial Aid 101

Financial Aid Freak Outs: Q & A

There's much more. Just about all you need to know about financial aid is here, whether you're new to the aid game or deeply involved with student and parent loans. I encourage you to check out the information here.

Speaking of being involved with student loans, let's get back to LendEdu's information. The link cited above takes you to this quite long and very helpful page, which states its purpose thusly:

Looking for a new private student loan? Learn more below!

Private students loans are used by over one million students each year. Why? Well, the rising cost of higher education has made it difficult for students and families to afford college. Scholarships, grants, and federal student loans are all great ways to help meet your cost of attendance, but often these are not enough.

Many students are left with a sizable gap between their financial aid awards and the cost of attendance at college. Private student loan packages were created to help students fill the gap between financial aid and the cost of attendance.

At LendEDU we work to add transparency to the private student loan market. We work to bring the best lenders in front of our users. Moreover, we work to educate our users on responsible borrowing during college and responsible repayment after college. We put together this guide to help you navigate the confusing private student loan market. In no time you will be a student loan expert, ready to responsibly use student loans to your advantage. ...

Following this introduction you'll find 19 sections that answer virtually everything you ever wanted or needed to know about private student loans. I don't have room to highlight text from all of these categories, but I will show you the section headings and then you can read the details for yourself.

This is extremely helpful information:

- Compare the Best Private Student Loan Companies -- Instantly view loan options using our private student loan comparison tool. Easily select your desired loan type, in-school repayment options, and repayment term to compare loan companies that meet your selected criteria.

- Top 7 Lenders for Private Student Loans: Quick Reviews

- Our Top 7 Lenders for Private Student Loans -- Before you start an application, you should know that most lenders have a minimum FICO credit score for approval. In addition, you are much more likely to be approved for the best private student loan if you have a creditworthy cosigner. Each lender has its own specific underwriting criteria, so you may have a higher chance of approval at certain lenders. Read the detailed lender reviews for more information regarding eligibility requirements.

- Facts About Private Student Loans

- What are Private Student Loans? How Do They Work?

- Application Process

- Eligibility Requirements

- How a Cosigner Helps

- Other Requirements

- Private Student Loan Interest Rates

- Co-Signing is Common

- Disbursement

- Repayment

- Private Student Loan Servicers

- Differences Between Federal Student Loans and Private Student Loans

- Federal Student Loans

- Private Student Loans

- Best Student Loans for Parents

- Risks of Private Student Loans


So, there you have it -- two great resources for a tremendous amount of information about financial aid and student loans. Read and learn, my friends.


Be sure to check out all my admissions-related articles at College Confidential.