Financial aid can help fill in the gaps where your parents or personal finances cannot meet the cost of college.\r\n\r\nAfter all the time sifting through college, making your choices and completing applications the decision in which college to attend will more likely be based on cost not reputation nor course offering.\r\n\r\nThings you must do:\r\n\r\n \tFile your FAFSA early. Even if you think you won\u2019t get any financial aid, file anyway.\r\n \tMake sure your application is complete and provide a supplemental letter detailing extenuating circumstances.\r\n \tDetermine when you should use assets to pay down debt, when to sell stocks and how to appeal aid packages.\r\n \tSpeak with an accountant to help you figure out your parent\u2019s income and assets that will impact your financial aid reward.\r\n\r\nFinancial Aid Offices can be a difficult department to deal with as they get hundreds if not thousands of students asking for more aid. You\u2019ll have to have a compelling story, determination and additional information to state your case. For students who are sought by top tier schools, it could be a matter of putting one school against another\u2019s financial aid offer.\r\nHere are a few things you can do to get the most financial aid from your college:\r\n\r\n \tAsk for a reassessment. Once you\u2019ve completed the FAFSA, the document determines your eligibility for student aid at the federal and state level in addition to aid offered by the school. If there are changes to your economic situation, such as a parent lost their job or medical disability explain the new circumstance to the financial aid officer. Make sure you have the documentation to support your new claim.\r\n \tExplain money issues outside of FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a snapshot of your parents or legal guardians financial standing but it may leave a few important details out such as taking care of an ill grandparent, bankruptcy or any other situation that couldn\u2019t be reported on FAFSA can be shared with the financial aid office.\r\n \tAsk about scholarships or grants even if you didn\u2019t qualify originally. Many scholarships are offered to students who may choose to go to another school leaving that scholarship available for another student. In addition, to seeking out scholarships offered at the school, do your own scholarship hunt.\r\n \tSpeak openly and candidly to the financial aid officer and work with them. Don\u2019t get angry or adversarial. That\u2019ll get you into the ignore pile. Ask about other ways of increasing your financial aid through work-study programs.\r\n\r\nIt can be frustrating dealing with the financial aid office and most of the time you may feel you have an uncooperative and inattentive officer. It\u2019s not easy asking to speak to another financial aid officer as most are assigned to specific students but that doesn\u2019t mean you can\u2019t request to speak to someone higher.