Your Money: Keep these tips in mind when you’re applying for financial aid
News from Indianapolis Star:

Students needing aid better get busy.

If worries about paying for college disrupt your sleep, here’s news that will keep you up until dawn: More students than ever are competing for a shrinking pool of financial aid.

Several states have reduced scholarships or toughened eligibility criteria for financial aid. Eligibility for the maximum Pell grant, the largest source of federal financial aid, also has been tightened. Meanwhile, the number of families applying for financial aid has soared. More than 21 million families filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the 2010-11 academic year, last fall, up 49 percent from two years earlier.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother to apply. The FAFSA is the foundation for most federal, state and institutional aid. You’ll also need it to qualify for federal student loans, which are available for all full-time students, regardless of income.

Some tips for families of students who will attend college this fall:

» Pay attention to deadlines. The deadline for Indiana students to apply to receive federal aid is March 10.

It’s easier to complete the FAFSA after you’ve done your taxes, so consider completing those early.

If you plan to apply for institutional aid from colleges and universities, check with the school’s financial aid office for applicatio…………… continues on Indianapolis Star

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5 Financial tips for the last week of January 2012
News from Online News Today:

Check out the 5 financial tips for the 4th week of January 2012

Tip no 1 – “Shop till you drop” is not the mantra you should follow if you want your credit card debts to drop.

If you want to reduce your credit card debt burden, then you’ll have to stop chanting the mantra “shop till you drop“. In fact, you’ll have to reduce your shopping endeavors. You need to visit your favorite shopping stores for purchasing only the necessary items. Plan your shopping trips in advance so that you know about the items which need to be purchased. You can’t afford to waste money on useless shopping. Curtail your luxury expenses by all means, and make it your goal to save money. Use it to pay off your debts.

Tip no 2 – Think local, not global.

You may love to take your family to an exotic island during the holidays. However, this will burn a hole into your pocket. You’ll have to pay a huge amount for the air tickets and hotel bookings. The price of the air tickets is likely to increase in 2012. This means that you’ll have to pay more money in this year.

There are various tourist locations around your home town. All you need to do is take out a map and hop on your car. Take your family to these places instead of going abroad, and sav…………… continues on Online News Today

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