By Hannah Tong

As seniors begin to finalize all their college applications, they move on to the next step: figuring out how to pay for college.

The two most efficient ways students find financial aid is through FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and scholarships.

The Federal Student Aid is a part of the U.S Department of Education and helps students across the nation afford college. Over $150 billion in grants, loans and work-study funds are provided to students to aid them in their college expenses.

“I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to hopefully lessen the cost of my college tuition,” expresses senior Elaine Pham.

The FAFSA application opened on Oct. 1 and the official deadline is on Jun. 30. However, the FAFSA deadline can vary among select colleges.

To apply, students and their parents have to fill out an online application about tax returns, financial status and personal information.  After submitting, everyone just waits for the process to go through.

Scholarships are also a major part of the college application process.  They are grants or payments made to support a student’s education and are usually awarded on the basis of academic or other achievement.

Students can access several different websites to search for scholarships such as Fastweb.com, Zinch.com, Cappex.com or Scholarships.com.

Each scholarship has its own specific requirements.  Some may require essays, letter of recommendations and transcripts, while others just require an application concerning personal information.

For seniors who are still looking for additional scholarships to apply to, PHHS always has updates on upcoming deadlines for specific scholarships either on Schoolloop or the PHHS home page. Students can also look under the “Guidance” tab and select the “Financial Aid/Scholarships” section to find a long list of scholarships.

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