Need help with the college process?

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Nonprofit organizations across the country are ready to help you with the college process.

Get free, expert help with filing your FAFSA, opening a college savings account, writing your college essay, applying to college, understanding your financial aid offer, repaying your student loans, and more! 

Click on your state to learn more! Don’t see your state? Contact us to learn more.

Alaska

The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) — funded by the Alaska Student Loan Corporation (ASLC) — promotes access to and success in education and career training beyond high school.

The Commission provides education planning tools and resources; advocacy and support for postsecondary participation in Alaska; financial aid for college and career training; and education consumer protection through institutional authorization and complaint investigation.

The Commission offers a suite of financial aid and outreach services, designed to provide educational access necessary for Alaskans to become peak performers, regardless of their financial status.

Flagship planning tools and resources include:

  • The ACPE Success Center(s) provide one-on-one coaching or group training and activities on postsecondary access including: Career Exploration, Career Training Research, College & Career Applications, Financial Aid Applications (including the FAFSA), Scholarship Searches and Portfolios, College Enrollment Coaching, Budgeting and more. Learn more here.
     
  • AKCIS is an online service provided to all Alaskans by ACPE. Alaskans can create a portfolio, take assessments, explore careers, research education opportunities, compile scholarships, build a resume, and put some planning tools to work for them. Learn more here.

Arkansas

Fund My Future is a state-wide college planning service created to assist Arkansas students in achieving their higher education goals. This service, sponsored by the Arkansas Student Loan Authority (ASLA), is a valuable source of college access and financial aid information for students, parents, and counselors.

ASLA publishes “How to Pay for College” booklets each year for high school students, with an emphasis on distribution to high school juniors and seniors, as well as their parents. The “How to Pay for College” booklet includes information on how to apply for federal and state financial aid, college preparation checklists, tax benefits for parents, frequently asked questions, college savings programs, financial aid terms and online resources.

Fund My Future also provides students with comprehensive financial planning information. The Fund My Future website houses a free scholarship search with more than 3,000 state and national scholarships.

Connecticut

Beyond its loan programs, CHESLA focuses on its outreach programs, which include a need-based scholarship program and financial literacy portal.

CHESLA’s Need-Based Scholarship Program provides scholarships to Connecticut residents attending Connecticut public or private nonprofit degree-granting institutions of higher education within the state. The scholarships are awarded through the financial aid offices of the schools. As of March 31, 2018, CHESLA’s Scholarship Program had disbursed $5.5 million in scholarship funds, impacting 2,858 students since the program’s inception in the 2015-2016 Academic Year.

CHESLA’s financial literacy portal, CT Dollars & Sense, launched in February 2017. CT Dollars & Sense is a “one-stop shop” of information and resources for Connecticut students and their families to help plan, save, and pay for college. CHESLA partnered with four other state agencies (CHET, Office of Higher Education, Department of Consumer Protection, and Department of Banking) on the portal.

Georgia

 

Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC) partners with high schools, colleges, universities, state organizations (e.g., University System of Georgia), the federal government (e.g., GEAR UP Georgia) as well as libraries, community, civic and faith-based organizations to help inform Georgians on financial aid and opportunities available to pay for their education beyond high school.

GSFC has outreach representatives across Georgia who conduct financial aid information sessions and meet with students and parents to assist them in completing the FAFSA and other financial aid forms. Outreach representatives also help explain the overall financial aid process, eligibility requirements for state aid programs, graduation requirements, as well as increase financial literacy by sharing resources to help plan, apply, and pay for college.

Through GEAR UP Georgia, GSFC is working with the Orange Duffel Bag Initiative, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, aiming to improve education success for at-risk teens and young adults.

In addition, GSFC administers the following financial aid programs for aspiring military, current military and their families, and children of Georgia Public Safety Officers disabled or killed in the line of duty:

Indiana

INvestEd promotes educated decision making for all aspects of higher education choices to Indiana students, families, and school counselors.  We partner with Indiana school corporations, public libraries, TRIO programs, Boys & Girls Clubs, state associations, and commissions and provide presentations, printed materials, free online tools, and 24/7 access via phone or email for questions.

Our high school programs consist of early awareness, financial aid overview, and finalizing financial aid presentations, as well as FAFSA completion events, individual college planning/funding meetings, and college fairs. 

Our goal is to get students started early on planning for college, maximizing access to free money like scholarships and grants, understanding loan options, and assisting families with comparing college net prices so they can make wise decisions and minimize their education debt.

Iowa

Iowa Student Loan is all about your success.

As part of our mission to help Iowa students and families obtain the resources necessary to succeed in postsecondary education, we reinvest funds in programs designed to benefit Iowa high school and college students and their parents.

Families often realize how little they know about the current state of college financing once the first tuition bill arrives. To assist families before this stage, Iowa Student Loan fosters an understanding of student loan debt and financial decision-making through innovative online tools and through parent and student award programs.

Since 2010, our tools have been helping students and parents understand maximum advisable borrowing levels based on college major and how to reduce their need to borrow to pay for college, providing a realistic estimation of the return on college investment students may expect from earning a bachelor’s degree in a specific major, and helping high school seniors and their parents project an estimated total college cost over four years based on the freshman year financial aid award packet.

These tools, when used as part of Iowa Student Loan’s scholarship and award programs, have helped students and families across Iowa earn more than $420,000 for college since 2014.

Thanks to lead funding provided by Iowa Student Loan, the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) is able to offer free college planning services statewide. ICAN’s services are offered at in-person sessions at 99% of Iowa’s high schools, during appointments at locations throughout the state focusing on FAFSA completion and college readiness.

In addition to these free services, we provide information and services to address the needs of all Iowans, including those who might otherwise be overlooked or who might not receive sufficient information, through community outreach and partnerships.

Kentucky

For more than 50 years, KHEAA and KHESLC have been helping students in Kentucky plan and pay for higher education. The sister agencies administer Kentucky’s state grants and scholarships, which have helped millions of Kentucky students pay for education beyond high school.

In Kentucky, KHEAA and KHESLC provide nationally recognized outreach services, with 13 regional outreach counselors and a mobile classroom that travels throughout the state. They produce age-appropriate publications for preschool students through adult learners in Kentucky and for high school students in Alabama, for which KHEAA is the federally designated guarantor. Monthly newsletters go to school counselors in Kentucky and Alabama and to parents in Kentucky. All are provided free of charge. Each month the agencies send a financial aid tip and financial literacy tip to news media in more than 20 states.

The Outreach Counselors work one-on-one with Kentucky students, families and high school counselors to ensure the student is prepared for the next step in their higher education career. They conduct FAFSA workshops across the Commonwealth as well as educate the students and families on the grants and scholarships available through KHEAA and the federal government.

Learn more here.

Louisiana

The Louisiana Education Loan Authority (Lela) is Louisiana’s nonprofit resource for free FAFSA completion and college access services. Lela is a division of the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority (LPFA) — a nonprofit statewide public trust established to bring financing assistance and advantages to the people of Louisiana.

With a focus on FAFSA completion, Lela’s mission is to develop projects and programs which provide resources for college access and statewide outreach initiatives to help ensure students’ success on their path to and through college.

Lela provides free services to all interested students and parents in Louisiana. Our services include:

  • Step by Step: Start to Finish FAFSA Assistance for Parents and Students
  • Access to Computers and Expertise Through our Lela College Planning Center
  • Access to Lela’s FAFSA Completion and College Planning Guide
  • Access to Lela’s Parent Planning and Paying for College Guide
  • Access to Lela’s Junior and Senior Checklists for College Planning
  • Access to Register for Lela Scholarship Opportunities
  • Access to Lela’s Scholarship Database
  • Scholarship Search Assistance
  • Link Between You and Your College Admissions Counselor
  • Link Between You and Your Financial Aid Counselor
  • Link Between You and Your High School Counselors
  • Reinforcement of Important Deadline Dates
  • Assistance with Contacting Third Parties Involved in the Financial Aid Application and Funding Process
  • Guidance on the FAFSA Verification Process

Financial Literacy Tips

In 2017, Lela representatives awarded over $20,000 in scholarships, assisted over 7,000 students and their families with completion of their FAFSA, coordinated or hosted nearly 250 FAFSA completion workshops, and distributed over 50,000 FAFSA completion and College Planning Guides to Louisiana high school students and parents.

Upon request, Lela’s FAFSA Completion Coordinator works closely with high school professional school counselors to conduct and coordinate free FAFSA Completion events on their campus.

Lela also assists families, one-on-one, with FAFSA Completion at its College Planning Center or through its FAFSA Helpline, (844) GO FAFSA.

For more information on Lela’s free programs and services, you may contact us at (800) 228-4755 or visit us at lela.org.

Massachusetts

Both online and throughout Massachusetts, MEFA provides key information and guidance to residents of the Commonwealth on all steps of college planning.

Our in-person seminar program, offered in collaboration with high schools and community-based organizations, provides 600 presentations each year on saving for college, college admissions, financial aid, and paying the college bill. Additional events we sponsor in the community offer assistance to young families starting a college savings plan. Given by subject matter experts, our live and on-demand webinars offer families the details and updates they need to successfully plan for the future. We provide volunteers and leadership to the Massachusetts College Application Celebration, an initiative to support students through the college application process, and FAFSA Day Massachusetts, a series of free events that helps students and families complete the FAFSA.

Our website, mefa.org, serves as a roadmap to help families plan for college and reach financial goals, and includes videos, calculators, timelines, podcasts, and a wide range of detailed information.

High school students can use our free college and career planning tool, mefapathway.org, to explore interests and talents in order to build academic and career plans. And finally, our extensive email curriculum, with messages catered to the ages of children in a family, and our social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, provide timely and helpful resources and reminders to keep students and families on top of planning for their future.

MEFA offers blogs, articles, and webinars designed to assist specific populations, such as foster youth, military members, and undocumented students. Our outreach in the community and at events such as the Massachusetts College Application Celebrationand FAFSA Day Massachusetts, offer college planning assistance to many first-generation and Pell-eligible students.

Minnesota

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education is a cabinet-level state agency providing students with financial aid programs and information to help them gain access to postsecondary education. The agency also serves as the state’s clearinghouse for data, research and analysis on postsecondary enrollment, financial aid, finance and trends.

The Minnesota State Grant Program is the largest financial aid program administered by the Office of Higher Education, awarding more than $198 million in need-based grants to Minnesota residents attending eligible colleges, universities and career schools in Minnesota. The agency oversees other state scholarship programs, tuition reciprocity programs, a student loan program, a student loan refinancing programMinnesota’s 529 College Savings Plan, licensing and an early college awareness program and initiatives for youth.

Missouri

The Missouri Scholarship and Loan Foundation (MSLF) was formed by MOHELA to help make higher education more accessible and affordable for Missouri families. By providing scholarships and low-cost student loans, the foundation supports persistence to graduation from institutions of higher education by Missouri citizens.

MOHELA also works with and supports a variety of organizations in Missouri including St. Louis Graduates, Junior Achievement, Missouri College Advising Corporation, Connections to Success, Missouri Association of Student Financial Aid Personnel, Infinite Scholars, and Ava’s Grace.

MOHELA supports organizations that work with low-income and first-generation students, foster youth, and children with an incarcerated parent, including Infinite Scholars, Missouri College Advising Corporation, St. Louis Graduates, and Ava’s Grace.

Montana

Reach Higher Montana is a nonprofit based in Helena, Montana whose mission is to guide, prepare, and support Montana students with inspiration, information, and resources for college. Our services focus on college affordability, helping families understand the FAFSA and supporting youth in foster care. Our seven advisors across Montana work with education professionals, parents and students to create pathways to higher education.

When it comes to college affordability, Reach Higher Montana wants today’s students to know that college is possible. Each year, Reach Higher Montana awards seventy-five, $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors and college students across the state. We continually help match students with local and national scholarships,  and offer Get a Jump on Scholarship workshops to teach students the skills to successfully apply for scholarship money. We encourage students to explore dual enrollment, assist them in financial literacy, and offer many resources in preparing for college.

Reach Higher Montana works very closely with youth in foster care across Montana. In partnership with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Reach Higher Montana strives to ensure students exiting the foster care system feel supported in their efforts to attain postsecondary education. Each year the Reach Higher Montana Summit for Youth in Foster Care, a four day summit for students to learn college access information and valuable life skills, is offered for these high-potential youth. At the end of each summit, foster care youth are gifted a laptop computer for their future education. In addition, during the summit students in foster care are introduced to Foster Care Education and Training Vouchers. Students are eligible to receive up to $5,000 per year for postsecondary education if they have “aged out” of the foster care system, are in foster care, have been adopted after the age of 16, are under tribal court jurisdiction, and meet the eligibility criteria.

New Hampshire

The NHHEAF Network Organizations’ Center for College Planning provides New Hampshire students and families with valuable information about the college planning process — from savings options and college admissions requirements, to applying for financial aid and scholarships. CCP offers college planning materials and coordinates speakers for K-12 schools and community organizations free of charge. The CCP  presents in each of the state’s public high schools annually.

CCP provides workshops on various college planning topics in our Concord, New Hampshire office, including our Summer Boot Camp workshops. New Hampshire students and parents are able to make free appointments to meet with expert college counselors for assistance filing the FAFSA. The CCP also facilitates professional development on various college planning topics for school counselors and provides K – 12 schools with free college planning materials and curriculum.

New Jersey

New Jersey welcomes students from all over the country — and the world! Going to college in New Jersey is a smart investment in your future.

That’s why the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) encourages both in-state and out-of-state students to consider all that New Jersey has to offer on our diverse and innovative campuses.

To help students achieve their higher education goals, HESAA serves as New Jersey's premier source for financial aid and informational resources to help students achieve their higher education goals. Ranked as one of the most generous state aid programs in the nation, HESAA administers the Tuition Aid Grant program to eligible residents of New Jersey. In addition, HESAA oversees several state grants and scholarship programs including the merit-based NJ STARS scholarship. Learn about all of New Jersey’s grants and scholarships here.

Early outreach about financial literacy and information on planning for college is crucial to student (and family) success. That’s why HESAA conducts hundreds of free Financial Aid Sessions, FAFSA Completion Workshops, and specialized training to school counselors and financial aid administrators each year. Explore how HESAA can help support you through grants, scholarships, or an NJCLASS family loan here.

New Mexico

The New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation (NMEAF) is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established by the New Mexico State Legislature in 1981. NMEAF’s mission is to promote the public welfare and prosperity of the people of New Mexico by stimulating the availability of financial assistance for post-secondary educational opportunities. NMEAF organizes, facilitates and hosts FAFSA trainings, FAFSA workshops, and financial literacy events for all students and their families.

NMEAF partners with educational institutions and nonprofit organizations across New Mexico in the FAFSA & College Application Completion Process. This collaborative called the College Connect New Mexico assists high school counselors across the State of New Mexico with focuses on higher education access and funding for first-generation, foster and homeless youth, and low-income students and their families.

North Carolina

Committed to assisting students successfully obtain education beyond high school, the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority in 2000 initiated, and has since actively participated in, a collaboration called “College Foundation of North Carolina” (CFNC). CFNC is a free and comprehensive service that helps students, along with their families, plan, apply, and pay for college.

With online information and a toll-free call center, (866) 866-CFNC (2362, option 2), CFNC offers detailed information to enable students to make informed decisions. CFNC services assist students and families every step of the way — from elementary school years through high school graduation and beyond.

CFNC offers resources to help young people understand career opportunities and the education required to sustain them and then assists students to chart their coursework to prepare for college and career and to select colleges appropriate to their ambitions and talents. CFNC also communicates about the availability of financial aid to make college affordable and advises students and families in taking actions to minimize borrowing and prevent delinquency and default.

Services are available through the postsecondary education years and on into adulthood, promoting financial literacy education and encouraging college completion, and lastly, until any college indebtedness has been satisfied. CFNC covers information on both state and federal student aid programs to give students a comprehensive picture specific to their own situations. It also promotes the value of saving for college through the tax-advantaged NC 529 program. 

North Dakota

Helping North Dakotans plan and pay for college is the Education Market at Bank of North Dakota’s specialty.

We provide solutions starting with College SAVE, the state’s 529 plan, for children of all ages; college planning resources starting in high school; and student loans that pay for college and for refinancing afterward.

A few of our college planning resources, among many, include providing over $100,000 in scholarship opportunities annually; funding dual credit assistance courses for low-income students, paying a one-time $35 application fee to a North Dakota college for high school seniors whose schools take part in North Dakota’s annual College Application month, and going Live weekly on Facebook to empower and inspire young people and their parents/guardians to successfully navigate higher education and career options. We also provide financial aid information to educate high school seniors and their parents on the types of financial aid and how to complete the FAFSA.

For detailed information, check out the College Handbook on our website, it is an excellent resource that helps students navigate high school as they prepare for college, or reach out to us and let us know how we can help you!

Pennsylvania

Created in 1963 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has evolved into one of the nation’s leading student aid organizations.

Today, PHEAA is a national provider of student financial aid services, serving millions of students and thousands of schools through its loan guaranty, loan servicing, financial aid processing, outreach, and other student aid programs.

Rhode Island

RISLA provides free assistance to students and families throughout all stages of the college process. Starting with early awareness seminars, RISLA College Planning Center counselors educate middle school students about the benefits of going to college and exploring career options.

Throughout high school, counselors offer advice on college selection, college visits, financial aid planning, and financial literacy in group forums and through one-on-one appointments. During senior year, counselors walk families through the college application and financial aid processes, answering questions along the way, and offer a free tool (RIScholarships.org) to help connect students with scholarship opportunities. RISLA’s outreach programs don’t stop when a student enters college.

Rhode Islanders continue to be eligible to receive free assistance with annual financial aid renewals and any college and career planning questions at two RISLA College Planning Center locations. Students also have access to Bridge.jobs, RISLA’s online internship matching service, which helps connect students with employers in Rhode Island. After college graduation, students can continue to get personal support with graduate school planning and student loan repayment. All of RISLA’s outreach programs are offered free of charge.

South Carolina

Why South Carolina Student Loan?

Our advisers are based right here in South Carolina, and our loans are exclusively for South Carolina students and parents as well as students attending local schools. We are out in the community, meeting with parents, hosting events at high schools and visiting college campuses.

We offer families and school leaders trustworthy, transparent, and personalized service because we’re truly invested in you and our state. 

Borrow Less  

Our approach is different. We want you to borrow less, because there’s no reason to borrow more money than you need. We help you go after scholarships, understand how financial aid works, and make smart borrowing decisions.   

Knowledge is Power

We believe planning leads to saving, which is why we show you how to navigate the process, and we give you financial aid insights, scholarship search tools, and college planning calculators to use along the way. Furthering your education is an important investment, and we want you to get a great return on it.

Your Success is Our End Goal® 

We’ve been helping South Carolina students achieve their goals for over 40 years. We believe expanding your educational experiences will open doors and put you on an exciting path. We’re proud to support you along the way. 

Texas

inspirED was established in 2014 by Higher Education Servicing Corporation with the mission to inspire students to achieve a higher education by promoting a college-going culture through educational outreach activities, services and community partnerships.

To accomplish this mission, inspirED provides high school and community-based GO Centers, college prep and financial aid presentations and workshops, high school counselor trainings, and special higher education events including our annual Destination Success college and career forums — and we do it all for free!

Utah

StepUp to Higher Education

The Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority and the Utah System of Higher Education partner to provide StepUp to Higher Education, an outreach initiative of the State of Utah that empowers 8th through 12th grade students and their families to prepare for college.

StepUp believes every Utah student should pursue education after high school, whether that be a one-year certificate, two-year degree, four-year degree, or more. StepUp provides programs and resources to encourage college preparation and success, as well as training and materials for school counselors.

We offer FAFSA Completion Open Houses in our schools and communities, events to help students apply for college admission, email newsletters, print publications, blogs, social media feeds, and more.

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CentsibleStudent™

CentsibleStudent™ is a financial literacy service created and provided by the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority and their default prevention and management service for schools, RepayCentsibly™.

The CentsibleStudent™ financial literacy website helps students and their families navigate the complicated subjects of personal finance and the financing of higher education.

CentsibleStudent™ helps its users to form wise financial habits, save for education and life goals, pursue scholarships and grants, and borrow student loans “centsibly” through its interactive resources, customized personal finance and college financing courses created by UHEAA experts, helpful infographics, and more.

The mission of CentsibleStudent™ is to effectively guide its users through the financing and completion of their education while simultaneously helping them develop financial habits to achieve and sustain financial and life goals. CentsibleStudent™ takes the guess work out of paying for college and personal finance while giving people the expert info they need to be confident and successful in their decisions.

Vermont

If you’re the first in your family to go to college — and you come from a low- to modest-income background — you’re in the right place.

VSAC’s outreach programs were created in 1969 to encourage and help less advantaged Vermonters pursue some form of education and training beyond high school. This year alone, our VSAC counselors worked with 5,900+ low-income and/or college-bound students of all ages through 3 federal grants.

Learn more about our outreach programs:

  • VSAC Talent Search is a federally funded TRIO program that serves middle school and high school students in their pursuit of career and college planning or training after high school. This program is offered at several schools throughout Vermont. Learn more here.
     
  • VSAC’s GEAR UP program is a federally funded program that that serves middle school and high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of careers, college, and training after high school. It also allows VSAC to provide schools and state partners with resources and support to enhance efforts of both local and systemic change in career and college readiness initiatives. Learn more here.
     
  • VSAC’s Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) is a federally funded TRIO program that helps Vermont’s nontraditional adult learners who do not already have a 4-year degree access college and career training services. The EOC offers assistance in planning for higher education, obtaining financial aid, and achieving success in school. Learn more here.

We work with foster youth, servicemembers, and veterans, providing access to unique financial aid options that can help them get the education they need to take the next step toward the career they want.

We’re here to help you access those options — and to help support you in your journey to higher education.