Perhaps the largest concern of all student-athletes and their families comes down to the cost of tuition. There are many sources of financial aid available. The first move you should make is contacting your high school guidance counselor at the beginning of your senior year. They will help you begin your financial aid search.

There are three types of financial aid:

  1. Offered by the Federal Government
  2. Offered by the State Government
  3. Offered by the University or College

To receive federal assistance, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Your high school guidance counselor will have the form. Be sure to add the code number for the university/college you wish to attend. You should apply immediately after October 1 of your senior year.

To receive state assistance, you must fill out a state application which your guidance counselor will also have available. Each state will have their own deadlines. Apply as early as possible.

To receive institutional assistance, you must contact the financial aid office of the university/college you wish to attend and request any applications you need to fill out. Each school will have their own deadlines. Apply as early as possible.

Keep in mind that all applications are processed in the order that they are received. Therefore, returning your applications as soon as possible is highly advised.

Here are several examples of Federal Loan Programs:

There are other possibilities out there. You must put in the time and leg work to find them though. There are many great websites that can give you advice, tips, and strategies on finding and maximizing your student-athlete's financial aid package.

Several include:

Once you know how much financial aid you will receive you can add that to any athletic scholarships (if there is one) and you will have your total total financial aid package. Take the total cost of tuition, room and board and minus your financial aid package to get a true cost of the university/college.

The absolute best advice for the whole process is to: Start Early!