A Website That Helps You Help Young People Navigate Federal Student Aid

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Piggy bank with a dollar bill and a mortarboard

Applying to college and seeking federal student aid can be daunting for young people. The process is especially stressful for unaccompanied homeless youth or young people who are the first in their families to go to college.

And if you, the youth and family services professional, haven't applied to college in eons yourself, you might need a little help walking youth, and in some cases their families, through the process.

You'll find the information you need in the Department of Education's Financial Aid Toolkit, an online resource for school counselors and others who work with prospective college students. The site will fill you in on the basics about federal student aid and the FAFSA (the form students use to apply for aid). You'll also find tips on planning workshops and information sessions for young people and families, and you can locate training opportunities for yourself.

There's also information about the TRIO and Gear UP programs and how they can be useful to disadvantaged youth who want to go to college. The toolkit's resource library includes loads of downloadable handouts and other materials to help young people learn about preparing and applying for college, getting financial aid and paying back loans.

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