BOSTON - Paying for college is a daunting challenge, but Representative Jeffrey Sánchez (D-Mission Hill) wants students and their families to know that help is available, particularly though free assistance from TERI (The Education Resources Institute).
Last year, Massachusetts students secured more than $1 billion in grants and low-interest loans from federal and state governments, as well as millions of dollars in scholarships from colleges and universities. Students and their families need to know these resources exist, and may need assistance navigating the complex process of seeking out and applying for financial aid. Fortunately, free guidance is available to help applicants through this process.
“Time is of the essence, and students planning to attend college next fall should begin the financial aid application process now,” said Sánchez. “Students should apply early – as soon after January 1st as possible - and investigate all possible sources of aid.”
Federal and state governments, along with colleges and universities, are the major sources of financial aid. Students begin the process of applying for both federal and state aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This document is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Many private colleges and universities also require a second form, the CSS PROFILE ®, which is available at The College Board’s website: www.collegeboard.com.
To receive free guidance on identifying sources of financial aid and completing applications, students and families throughout Massachusetts may call TERI’s toll-free information hotline at 1-877-332-4348 or visit one of TERI’s nine College Planning Centers in Boston, Brockton and Chelsea. For hours of operation at TERI’s Centers, visit www.tericollegeplanning.org. TERI’s hotline is made available through a partnership among the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, and TERI.
“Students and their families should be aware that funds exist to help ease the financial burden of attending college,” said Sánchez. “It takes time and patience to uncover these sources, not to mention getting through the application process itself. For those looking for financial help, I encourage you to get started now. ”
TERI College Planning Centers provide free, one-on-one information and advice on applying for financial aid and other concerns related to college planning. All TERI College Planning Center and Educational Opportunity Center services are free. For guidance over the phone or for information on the center closest to you, please call 1-877-ED-AID-4U (1-877-332-4348).