What is financial aid for college?

College is increasingly important and expensive. Fortunately, there are a number of tools that can help lower the cost of college.



How can I pay for college?

 

Put away money early. Starting a college fund is a great way to save money. The earlier you start, the more you’ll have saved by the time you’re ready to attend college. Your parents may have thought ahead and started a fund for you when you were born.

Get a grant or scholarship. Scholarships are awarded by colleges and universities or by outside organizations. Scholarships can be given for any number of accomplishments: outstanding academic achievements and maximum SAT or ACT scores; special talents, leadership potential and other personal characteristics; group affiliations such as YMCA, Boys Club, etc.), artist grants; and, of course, athletics. Sometimes all students are automatically considered for scholarships, while elsewhere a student must complete a separate application. Scholarships don’t need to be paid back.

Apply financial aid. Some universities offer help with tuition for families whose yearly earnings aren’t sufficient to pay for college.



What is financial aid?

In the United States, college-bound students can get funding that helps pay for education-related expenses like tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, books, and supplies for education at a college, university, or private school.



How do I apply for financial aid?

Like most loan processes, applying for financial aid involves filling out forms, gathering documents, and waiting.

 

Get prepped. Be sure to have your tax returns, bank statements, and mortgage information at hand when you sit down to tackle it.

Fill out a FAFSA. What’s a FAFSA? It’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, which can help you figure out which federal and state funds you’re eligible for. The FAFSA can be filled out online and requires information about your income, taxes, and assets. Make sure you have those docs at the ready. To find out more check https://fafsa.ed.gov/

Check out alternative aid. Scholarships and work-study programs form a potent combo to help pay for school costs.

Know the timeline and make sure you are ahead of things.

  • January to February: Fill out FAFSA.
  • March to April: College and universities send acceptance letters.
  • Mid-March to mid-April: College and universities send financial aid letters.
  • May 1: Rough deadline for students to select a school.

 

The Federal Trade Commission web site has helpful information to help you avoid loan scams, and much more. Other sites like Bankrate.com are sources for general student loan information.

With planning and luck you can offset a large portion of your college expenses. You’ll be one step closer to the American dream.

For your chance at winning a piece of the American Dream, enter the Western Union American Dream Sweepstakes. You could win cash for a car, tuition, even a down payment on a home, and more. Enter the sweepstakes here. No Purchase Necessary. Subject to Official Rules.

 

 


 

WESTERN UNION® ‘AMERICAN DREAM’ SWEEPSTAKES OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE/TRANSACTION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A TRANSACTION WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.

The Western Union “American Dream” Sweepstakes (the “Promotion” or “Sweepstakes”) sponsored by Western Union Financial Services, Inc. (the “Sponsor”) begins at 12:00:00 AM Eastern Time (“ET”) on February 15, 2015 and ends at 11:59:59 PM ET on December 31, 2015 (the “Promotion Period”).

HOW TO ENTER: There are two ways to enter the Sweepstakes:

1] Automatic Entry via a Western Union Money Transfer® online or mobile transaction: The first time each week that you send a person-to-person Western Union Money Transfer® transaction online at westernunion.com or by mobile transaction through the WU® Mobile App using your My WU® membership number from the United States to anywhere in the world during the Promotion Period (“Qualifying Transaction”); you will automatically receive one (1) Sweepstakes Entry.  Entrant is deemed to be the person identified to Western Union as the “Sender. Automatic entry will not be made for completing any other Western Union transactions not listed above. 

2] Mail-in Entry: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. If you wish to enter the Sweepstakes without making a Qualifying Transaction, hand print your complete name, address, phone number, your “My WU” membership number and your email address (optional) on a 3”x5” piece of paper, insert into a #10 mailing envelope, affix appropriate postage and mail to: Western Union “American Dream” Sweepstakes, P. O. Box 460, Woodbury, NY 11797-0460. Limit one entry per mailing envelope.  No mechanically reproduced entries permitted. 

There is a limit of one Sweepstakes Entry per week; and, a maximum of four or five Sweepstakes Entries per monthly drawing period (dependent upon entry month, see below), received per person regardless of method of entry. For purposes of this Promotion, a “week” is defined as a 7-day period, beginning on a Sunday and ending on a Saturday; and, a “Monthly Drawing Period” starts at 12:00:00 AM ET on the first day of the Monthly Period and ends at 11:59:59 PM ET on the last day of the Monthly Period. Since the number of weeks vary per month, the maximum number of Sweepstakes Entries per Monthly Drawing Period are as follows: Feb.:2; Mar: 5; Apr: 4; May: 4; Jun: 5; Jul: 4; Aug: 4; Sep: 5; Oct: 4; Nov: 5; and, Dec: 5. Automatic Entries and Mail-In Entries received without complete information requested will be void. Sponsor is not responsible for late, lost, damaged, incomplete, illegible, postage-due or misdirected mail. Proof of mailing does not constitute proof of delivery.  Mail-in Entries must be received by the Mail-in Entry Receipt Date per Drawing Period as noted on the “Drawing Schedule” below.  A transaction will not increase your chances of winning.  All material submitted becomes the sole property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned.  Entries included in one Monthly Drawing Period will not be eligible for subsequent Monthly Drawing Periods, but will be included in the Grand Prize Drawing as noted in the “Drawing Schedule” below.

To become a Western Union® My WU® member, visit https://www.westernunion.com/us/en/register.html  to enroll, or else you will be automatically enrolled when you send money. Once enrolled, you will receive your Western Union My WU® membership number, which can be used immediately.

PRIVACY:  The personal information you submit when you enter the Sweepstakes is collected by Sponsor and will be subject to Sponsor’s Privacy Statement (“Statement”).  Sponsor may disclose your personal information to third parties as explained in the Statement. To obtain a copy of the Statement, visit Sponsor’s website at www.westernunion.com or call 1-800-562-2598 and ask for a copy of Sponsor’s Privacy Statement. Information disclosed may include financial background; identification, such as name and address; transaction information; and other information relating to financial matters. Recipients may include financial institutions; retailers; companies that process transactions or provide other services for Sponsor; government agencies; and direct marketers.  You may opt out of (direct Sponsor not to make) certain disclosures. If you do not opt out, Sponsor will assume that you agree that your information may be used as the Statement describes. To opt out, call 1-800-562-2598.

PRIZES:  Three (3) GRAND PRIZES: Grand Prize #1, $65,000 “Down Payment For A Home” (awarded in the form of a check in the amount of $65,000 USD).  Value of Grand Prize #1: $65,000. Grand Prize #2, $35,000 “One Year Tuition” (awarded in the form of a check in the amount of $35,000 USD).  Value of Grand Prize #2: $35,000. Grand Prize #3, $30,000 “A New Car” (awarded in the form of a check in the amount of $30,000 USD). Value of Grand Prize #3: $30,000.  Total Retail Value (“RV”) of all Grand Prizes offered: $130,000 USD.

Thirty-three (33) MONTHLY PRIZES awarded as 3 prizes per month from February to December 2015, as follows: (1) First Prize, $1,500 “Month of Rent” (awarded in the form of a check in the amount of $1,500 USD).  Total RV of all First Prizes offered: $16,500. (1) Second Prize, $1,000 “Month of Groceries” (awarded in the form of a check in the amount of $1,000 USD). Total RV of all Second Prizes offered: $11,000. (1) Third Prize, $500 “Month of Credit Card Bills” (awarded in the form of a check in the amount of $500 USD).  Total RV of all Third Prizes offered: $5,500. Total RV of all Monthly Prizes offered: $33,000 USD.

Twelve (12) BONUS PRIZES awarded as 3 prizes for 4 months only (April, June, August and October 2015), as follows:  (3) April Bonus Prizes, $3,000 “Luxury Weekend for Mom” (winner’s choice of a Mandarin Oriental $3,000 Gift Card, OR a check in the amount of $3,000 USD each).  Total RV of all April Bonus Prizes offered: $9,000. (3) June Bonus Prizes, $1,500 “A Stay at the Ritz-Carlton®” (winner’s choice of a Ritz-Carlton $1,500 Gift Card, OR a check in the amount of $1,500 USD each).  Total RV of all June Bonus Prizes offered: $4,500. (3) August Bonus Prizes, $1,000 “A Trip Back Home” (awarded in the form of a check in the amount of $1,000 USD each).  Total RV of all August Bonus Prizes offered: $3,000. (3) October Bonus Prizes, $1,000 “Money To Send Back Home” (awarded in the form of a check in the amount of $1,000 USD each).  Total RV of all August Bonus Prizes offered: $3,000. Total RV of all Bonus Prizes offered: $19,500 USD.

Total RV of all Prizes offered in this Sweepstakes: $182,500 USD. Cash prizes selected will be awarded in the form of a check in US Dollars made payable to the confirmed winner.  Gift Card prizes selected do not include transportation to and from winner’s home, and are subject to the terms and conditions printed thereon. No substitution or transfer of any prize permitted, except that Sponsor may in its discretion substitute a prize of equal or greater value.  Limit one prize per person, family or household. All taxes, and other expenses not specified herein, including without limitation, income taxes, associated with the prize and its receipt are the sole responsibility of the Winner. Total number of prizes awarded for the entire Promotion, not to exceed forty eight (48). All Prizes will be awarded provided that there are at least as many eligible entries as prizes offered within each Drawing Period, as outlined in the schedule below (“Drawing Schedule”).

DRAWINGS AND DRAWING SCHEDULE:  There will a total of twelve (12) random drawings (11 Monthly and 1 Grand) conducted from all Qualifying Transactions, and eligible No Purchase Necessary Mail-In entries received during each Drawing Period, as outlined in the “Drawing Schedule” below.  The total number of potential prize winners selected varies per Drawing Period as noted below.

 

Drawing Period

Automatic Transaction Dates

Mail-In Entry Receipt Date

Maximum # of Entries Allowed per person per Drawing Period

Drawing Dates (on/about)

Potential  Prize Winners Drawn

Potential Prize Winners Notified (on/about)

February

2/15 –  2/28/15

3/4/15

2

3/6/15

3

3/9/15

March

3/1 – 3/31/15

4/4/15

5

4/7/15

3

4/10/15

April

4/1 – 4/30/15

5/5/15

4

5/8/15

6

5/11/15

May

5/1 – 5/31/15

6/4/15

4

6/6/15

3

6/10/15

June

6/1 – 6/30/15

7/3/15

5

7/7/15

6

7/9/15

July

7/1 -  7/31/15

8/4/15

4

8/6/15

3

8/10/15

August

8/1 – 8/31/15

9/3/15

5

9/7/15

6

9/10/15

September

9/1 – 9/30/15

10/3/15

4

10/6/15

3

10/8/15

October

10/1 – 10/31/15

11/3/15

4

11/5/15

6

11/9/15

November

11/1 – 11/31/15

12/3/15

5

12/5/15

3

12/9/15

December

12/1 – 12/31/15

1/4/16

4

1/6/16

3

1/8/16

Grand

2/15 -  12/31/15

1/4/16

46

1/6/16 3

1/8/16

 

The twelve (12) sweepstakes random drawings will be held on or about the Drawing Dates, as noted in the “Drawing Schedule” above, and conducted under the supervision of Marden-Kane, Inc., an independent judging organization. Entries included in one Monthly Drawing Period will not be eligible for subsequent Monthly Drawing Periods, but all Entries Including Monthly and Bonus Prize Winners will be included in the Grand Prize Drawing as noted above.    Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible Mail-in entries received and Qualifying Transactions made per Drawing Period. 

GENERAL RULES: Sweepstakes is open only to legal U.S. residents (having a valid Tax Identification Number (TIN) or Social Security Number (SSN)  who are 18 years of age or older as of February 15, 2015. Employees of Sponsor, its Agents, Judges, their affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, or any other suppliers to Western Union and their immediate families and/or those living in the same household of each are not eligible to participate. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited by law. If a winner is deemed a minor in his/her state of residence, prize will be awarded in the name of the winner’s parent or legal guardian.

By entering the Sweepstakes Entrant agrees to be contacted by phone call and/or email for purposes of sweepstakes administration including contacting potential prize winner.   The potential Prize Winners will be called on the telephone between 9AM and 5PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) on/about the notification date noted on the “Drawing Schedule” above. If the potential prize winner does not answer a call or is not home when he/she is called, Marden-Kane will endeavor to leave a message for the potential winner to call back to either accept or decline the prize. If Marden-Kane does not receive a return call or reply text message within 48 hours from the time the first phone call or text message is placed to the potential winner, or if the phone number is not in service, disconnected, does not belong to the potential winner or phone is not able to accept voice mail or text messages the prize will be forfeited and at Sponsor’s discretion, awarded to an alternate potential winner. Sponsor is not responsible for suspended or discontinued phone service or a change of address which may result in a potential winner not receiving initial prize notification. When a potential winner accepts the prize, he/she will receive written confirmation via mail and may be required to complete and sign an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability Release, if applicable and where legal a Publicity Release, which must be returned within 7 days from prize notification date on the notification letter; or the prize will be forfeited & awarded to an alternate potential winner.  In the event of non-compliance with these rules, or if the prize or prize notification is unclaimed or returned as undeliverable, the prize will be forfeited and at Sponsor’s discretion, awarded to an alternate potential winner.

Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for Sponsor and its agencies to use winner’s name and/or likeness for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law. By accepting a prize, winner agrees to hold Sponsor, its Agents, Judges, prize providers, their affiliates, subsidiaries and their respective directors, officers, employees and assigns, harmless against any and all claims and liability arising out of the acceptance, possession, use, misuse or nonuse of prize. Winners assume all liability for any injury or damage caused, or claimed to be caused, by participation in this promotion or use or redemption of any prize. By participating in this promotion entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Judges which shall be final and binding. This Sweepstakes and these Official Rules shall be interpreted in accordance with the laws of Colorado without regard to its principles of conflicts of law.  Jurisdiction and venue shall be solely within the State of Colorado.

NOTICE TO ENTRANTS:  ANY ATTEMPT BY AN INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS.  SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.  The Sponsor and its agents are not responsible for any (i) incorrect announcements of any kind, (ii) technical hardware or software failures of any kind, including any injury or damage to any person's computer related to or resulting from participating in or experiencing any materials in connection with the promotion, (iii) lost or unavailable network connections, or (iv) failed, incomplete, garbled, or delayed computer transmission that may limit a user's ability to participate in the Sweepstakes.   The Sponsor assumes no responsibility for undeliverable emails resulting from any form of active or passive email filtering by a user's Internet service provider and/or email client or for insufficient space in user's email account to receive email messages. Sponsor and its agencies are not responsible for Entries not received due to lost, failed delayed or interrupted connections or miscommunications, or to other electronic malfunctions, delays, or errors of any kind in the transmission or receipt of Entries. Sponsor is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate Entry information, whether caused by any human or technological error that may occur in the processing of Entries in this Sweepstakes.  Any other attempted form of Entry not specified herein is prohibited; no automatic, programmed; robotic or similar means of entry are permitted.   The Sponsor reserves the right to cancel or modify the Sweepstakes if fraud, misconduct, or technical failures destroy the integrity of the Sweepstakes or if a computer virus, bug, or other technical problem corrupts the administration or security of the Sweepstakes as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion.  In the event a dispute arises regarding the specific individual entitled to receive a prize, Entry will be declared made by the person assigned to the email address from the selected Entry.  In the event the Sweepstakes is terminated, a notice will be posted and all eligible Entries received prior to termination will be included in a random drawing to award the prizes.  Proof of submitting entries will not be deemed to be proof of receipt by the Sponsor. All entries become the property of the Sweepstakes Sponsor and will not be returned.  The Sponsor reserves the right to prohibit the participation of an individual if fraud or tampering is suspected or if the individual fails to comply with any requirement of participation as stated herein or with any provision in these Official Rules.

ENTRIES: All entries become the property of the Sweepstakes Sponsor and will not be returned.  Sponsor and its affiliates, subsidiaries, representatives, Agents and employees are not liable for lost, late, stolen, illegible, delayed, garbled or misdirected transactions; technical hardware or software failures of any kind; lost or unavailable network connections; failed, incomplete, or damaged transactions; or for garbled or delayed computer transmissions even if the foregoing limits an entrant’s ability to participate in the Sweepstakes in any way or to win.  Sponsor and its affiliates, subsidiaries, representatives, agents and employees are not responsible for any problems or the technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail on account of technical problems or traffic congestion, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any person’s computer or other property relating to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials in connection with the Sweepstakes.

WINNERS LIST AND OFFICIAL RULES: For the Prize winners’ names or a copy of the Official Rules, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to be received no later than 12/31/15 to: WU American Dreams Sweepstakes Winners or WU American Dreams Sweepstakes Rules, c/o Marden-Kane, Inc, 195 Froehlich Farm Blvd., Woodbury, NY 11797, Attn: JG. Residents of Vermont may omit return postage.   

The names of the confirmed Prize Winners and Official Rules will also be posted at www.westernunion.com/AmericanDream and will remain posted for 30 days after the Sweepstakes ending date. 

SPONSOR: Western Union Financial Services, Inc., 12500 E. Belford Avenue, Englewood, CO 80112.  

JUDGES: Marden-Kane, Inc., 195 Froehlich Farm Blvd., Woodbury, NY 11797.