FINANCIAL AID MADE EASY! This concise, easy-to-follow guide breaks the confusing college financial aid process down into 8 simple steps to help you afford your education. Alas, not everybody started saving for college when their kid was in diapers. But there's still hope—and help! This friendly guide distills the confusing financial aid process into 8 clear, actionable steps you can take RIGHT NOW to help afford college. The underlying message is simple: Parents and students who understand how to apply for financial aid get more financial aid. Armed with the checklists, timelines, and info in this book, you'll be able to: • Figure out what colleges actually cost • Understand grants, loans, work-study, and other forms of aid • Get to know the FAFSA® and CSS Profile(TM) • Research scholarship opportunities • Quickly compare financial aid offers from different schools • Find creative ways to lighten your debt load Note: This book is designed to be a quick primer covering the most useful core finanicial aid information. For students and parents looking for comprehensive, A-Z guidance—including long-term strategies and step-by-step help on the forms—check out Paying for College, The Princeton Review's classic and definitive guide to the A-to-Zs of financial aid.