As a first-generation college student, I found myself in uncharted waters, especially not at home in familiar territory. I quickly realized that I had to grow fast and that one of my biggest challenges now would be having to manage my own finances and stick to a budget.
Well, my first start was making sure my entire institutional bill was covered, which may require me to take out student loans coupled with any other grants and scholarships I might receive. So it happened, for my next college year, the loans were part of my optional financial aid offer, and I agreed to get my full bill paid. Needless to say, through this process and over the many years to come, I learned valuable lessons about how to handle student loans. It turns out that my career has allowed me to share with other students how to navigate this process.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application was the first step in the process.