Financial Aid

Financial Aid: Getting Started

You’ve decided to go back to college, finish your degree and move ahead. Congratulations! One of your initial steps will probably be organizing your finances. Use the four steps below to start the process.

  1. Financial Aid Calculators can help you start figuring out how much school could cost based on your income, possible tuition, fees and other expenses associated with going back to school.
    1. The FAFSA4caster will help you understand your options for paying for college.
    2. Calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to estimate your student financial aid.
    3. College Cost Projector will help you estimate how much college could cost.
  2. Once you have an idea of the cost, completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a must. Filling out the FAFSA is critical in applying for federal and state grants, loans and scholarships to help pay for college – no matter your age or stage in life.The Federal Student Aid website also has a wealth of information about all forms of financial aid, eligibility and what you need to apply as an Independent Student.
  3. If you’re seeking a certificate or diploma from an eligible Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) or University System of Georgia (USG) institution, you may be eligible to receive the HOPE Grant or Zell Miller Grant or the Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant (SIWDG). These financial aid programs are available to Georgia residents and administered by the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC). You can apply by completing the FAFSA or filling out the GSFAPPS.
  4. Another possible source of financial aid can be your employer. Some companies and organizations offer tuition reimbursements to their employees. Talk to someone in your human resources office for information.

GAfutures Can Help

NOTE: The University System of Georgia (USG) provides a link to the website as a service to the public. The USG cannot guarantee the site is readable or functions correctly with web accessibility devices or applications. is Georgia’s online resource to help Georgians of all ages explore and plan for college. It is loaded with tools and information that will make the process of searching, applying and paying for college easier.

  • First, you need to find the right college. Use the college search to find the school that’s convenient and offers classes when you need them.
  • Next, you will need money to pay for it. GAfutures has information on state financial aid programs, such as HOPE, as well as a national scholarship search to help make your education affordable.
  • If you are unsure what you want to do, take an assessment to help you determine what area of study, program or occupation may be right for you.