Financial Aid Resources
College is a major commitment that can offer major rewards throughout your life and career. But for many students, the cost of going to school can be daunting. That is when financial aid becomes a necessity. The resources below can help you plan properly and navigate the complexities of the financial aid process.
Federal Student Aid
This U.S. Department of Education website can be used as a one-stop resource for information on:
- Preparing for College
- Types of Aid and Sources of Money for College
- Who Gets Aid
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)
- Managing Your Federal Student Loan
- College Planning for Parents
Washington residents: For information and resources about student loan repayment, or to submit a complaint relating to your student loans or student loan servicer, please visit www.wsac.wa.gov/loan-advocacy or contact the Student Loan Advocate at [email protected]
Federal Student Aid Facebook Page
Videos, information, and tips for planning and preparing for college can all be found on the official Facebook page for the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid.
National Student Loan Data System
This website, the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for student aid, allows students to retrieve and review their loan information.
Access books, brochures, videos, and tools from this U.S. Department of Education website. Downloadable resource guides include:
- College Preparation Checklist
- Funding Your Education: The Guide to Federal Student Aid
- Federal Student Aid for Adult Students
- Financial Aid for Graduate and Professional Degree Students
Ashford Net Price Calculator
The benefits of a college education can far outweigh the costs. Since funding your education can sometimes be a challenge, you should know the net price of your degree program before you start. The Net Price Calculator is designed for full-time undergraduate students, both at the Clinton campus and online, who are seeking theirfirst degree. It will give you a clear estimate of how much it costs to graduate from Ashford University. Please visit the Net Price Calculator for more information.
Student Loan Code of Conduct
Ashford University officers and employees involved in financial aid processes including student loans adhere to the Student Loan Code of Conduct.
The U.S. Department of Education offers these tips to help students applying for financial aid learn how to avoid fraud and identity theft.
Don’t Pay for Help to Find Money for College
Commercial financial aid advice services can cost more than $1,000. Charging for help or information that's available for free elsewhere is not fraudulent; however, if a company doesn't deliver what it promises, it's scamming you. If you're unsure whether to pay a company for help finding financial aid, stop and think for a minute: What's being offered? Is the service going to be worth your money? Do the claims, such as "We guarantee you’ll get aid," "Buy now or miss this opportunity," or "I've got aid for you; give me your credit card or bank account number," seem too good to be true or too risky? They probably are.
Try these free sources of information
- Types of Federal Student Aid
- Other federal agencies
- A college or career school financial aid office
- Your state grant agency
- The U.S. Department of Labor’s free scholarship search
- Your library’s reference section
- Foundations, religious or community organizations, local businesses, or civic groups
- Organizations (including professional associations) related to your field of interest
- Ethnicity-based organizations
- Your employer
- The Federal Student Aid Information Center
Don’t Pay for the FAFSA
Several websites offer help filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for a fee. These sites are not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education. You are urged not to pay these sites for assistance that you can get for free elsewhere. The official FAFSA is available at fafsa.gov, and you can get free help from:
If you are asked for your credit card information while filling out the FAFSA online, you are not at the official government site. Remember, the FAFSA site address has .gov in it.
Prevent Fraud and Identity Theft
Criminals attempt to access personal data such as names, Social Security numbers, and bank and credit card information. Using the stolen data, the criminal can illegally obtain credit cards, set up cellphone accounts, and more.
Reduce Your Risk When Applying for Aid
- Apply for federal student aid by filling out the FAFSA at fafsa.gov.
- After completing the FAFSA online, exit the application and close the browser; any cookies created during your session will be deleted automatically.
- Don’t tell anyone your FSA ID, even if that person is helping you fill out the FAFSA.
- Review your financial aid award documents and keep track of the amounts you applied for and received.
- Never give personal information over the phone or Internet unless you made the contact. If you have questions about an offer of aid or about your student loan account, ask your college or contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center.
- Keep receipts and documents (for example, credit applications or offers, checks and bank statements) with personal information in a safe place, and shred them when you are finished with them.
- Keep your purse or wallet safe at all times; store it and other items containing personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates.
- Immediately report all lost or stolen identification to the issuer (e.g., the credit card company or your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles) and to the police, if appropriate.
The information you share via secure websites (such as fafsa.gov and StudentLoans.gov) goes through a process called encryption. Encryption uses a mathematical formula to scramble your data into a format that is unreadable to a hacker.
Report Financial Aid Fraud
A company charging for financial aid advice is not committing fraud unless it doesn’t deliver what it promises. For more information about financial aid fraud or to report fraud, contact the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Report Identity Theft
If you suspect that your student information has been stolen, it is important to act quickly. These offices will help you determine what steps to take depending on your situation:
- U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General Hotline
- Federal Trade Commission
- Social Security Administration
- Equifax Credit Bureau
- Experian Information Solutions
- TransUnion Credit Bureau
You can gain further insight into budgeting, student loans, and the financial aid process from these articles on Ashford University’s Forward Thinking blog:
Ashford University provides links to other websites and institutions for your convenience. Ashford is not responsible for, and does not endorse or warrant any information, goods, or services provided by others. Ashford is not responsible for the privacy practices or other conduct of such others, whether or not they use the Ashford name or trademarks. If you decide to use any of the sites to which Ashford provides links, please understand that you do so at your own risk. Please be cautious when providing credit card, bank, or personal information to outside sites for potential risk of fraud.