How to Pay for College Webinar
Financial Aid option for college can be overwhelming, but the recording of our previously held webinar can help.
Learn some tips and tricks to help you or your child to figure out how to lessen your cost for college.
FAFSA Application is now open!
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as FAFSA, opened October 1 for the 2021 – 2022 academic year for students attending post high school higher education.
Click the button below to find out some tips and tricks to make your FAFSA process easier.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as FAFSA, opened October 1 for the 2021 – 2022 academic year for students attending post high school higher education. Being prepared ahead of time will make completing the application easier. This application NEVER costs money, if a site is stating a cost to submit the form, it is NOT the official studentaid.gov website.
Students, as well as parents, need to complete their portion of the FAFSA application every year the student is looking for financial aid, not only for their first year of post high school education. Many schools require this to be completed to be considered for merit (academic or talent) scholarships. Even if you do not feel you will qualify for federal financial aid, still complete the FAFSA form.
The student needs to have a FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID) or create one before starting the FAFSA application. If the student is a dependent on parent’s tax return, then one parent also needs to create a FSA ID to complete the application. This ID will be used each year you or your student completes FAFSA; make sure you write down the information you used to set this up for future use.
The form takes about 30- 45 minutes per the website to complete. Experienced parents and students who have gone through the process suggest planning for over an hour. Have the following information gathered before starting will help:
- Social Security Number of student, along with parents’ social numbers if the student is a dependent
- Driver’s license number, if you have one
- Separate email addresses to use for student and parent portion of the application, makes the process less confusing as update emails get sent
- Previous year tax returns for student and parents, if the student is a dependent
- You may be able to retrieve and transfer your tax information automatically into the form by using the Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT)
- Example: Aid application for 2021-2022, you will need 2019 tax returns
- Any “untaxed” income records, such as child support interest income or veterans noneducation benefits
- Cash, savings, and checking account balances at the time of completing the form
- Other investment balances such as stocks and bonds and real estate, except for your home
- Print the documents once completed and keep for your records
- You can save the FAFSA application and return to it should you not have all the information
Once you complete the form and submit it, you will receive an email confirming receipt of the application and that it has been processed. In following years of submitting the FAFSA application, you will be asked for information from previous years application, retain the information you provided to make the job smoother.
The federal financial aid information will be included in a school’s award letter financial aid offers along with any additional aid the school is providing. If you have applied to more than one school, each financial aid award letter may be different, so review each award carefully to determine the financial aid package being offered. Between scholarships and grants (the FREE money) and federal financial aid (the CHEAP money), the remaining balance is what a family needs to pay. This is the number to consider when comparing schools to attend.
For detail information on completing the FAFSA form go to https://studentaid.gov/apply-for-aid/fafsa/filling-out
You are at the age of opportunity for expanding your knowledge, experiences and where you call home.
- Online and Mobile banking lets you manage your accounts from anywhere including transferring money between savings, checking and loan accounts.
- Your MMFCU debit and credit cards can be a part of your digital wallet on your phone.
ATM access to your money at no charge is available at nearly 30,000 locations across the country through the CO-OP Network. This is more than most banks!
- Mobile payment services like Zelle, Venmo and PayPal may have no fees or reduced fees, if they are tied to an MMFCU account.
- Checks can be deposited from anywhere using Remote Deposit through MMFCU's mobile banking app on your phone.
- You can visit more than 5,700 credit unions across the country for in-person transactions and services through our Shared Branch Network.
We even have a checking account that pays you for doing things like using your debit card and receiving online statements. Our Kasasa checking also has no ATM fees, anywhere, and other rewards.
Our expert staff are here to help you by answering questions as you explore new opportunities. Call us at (218) 829-0371.
Is your child coming up with creative ways to earn extra spending money this summer?
This is an experience where we as parents actually have some street cred with our kids. Whether babysitting, mowing lawns, selling personal items or even getting their "real" first job; you can share your wisdom on finding a job, following through on commitments, and work ethic.
Once they are earning money, Mid Minnesota is here to help as you guide them in managing their money.
They may have a specific savings goal in mind, like a new phone or car. Our YES Savings Account pays 3.00%APY up to $500 for youth age 17 and younger. This would be a great way to help them learn how to grow their money!
If they have a consistent job that is paying them by check or electronically through a mobile payment service like Venmo, a youth checking account has many benefits:
- Checks can be deposited from anywhere using Remote Deposit through MMFCU's mobile banking app they download to their phone.
- Mobile payment services don't usually have a fee if they are tied to an MMFCU account.
- A Debit Card teaches your child how to manage their money using a safe payment method rather than carrying cash.
- Online and Mobile banking lets them track their account balance and transfer between a savings and checking account from their phone.
As a parent, you will be joint on the youth savings and checking accounts, so you can see how they are managing their money and coach them along the way.
If you have questions on these accounts or want to meet with a staff member together with your youth, so they can be a part of the account opening process, we are here to make that happen.
We are supporting more than 4,200 youth members and helping them learn about money and save for their future. We'd be happy to help your family on this journey too! Call us at 218-829-0371, request an appointment or start applying for an account online today.
- Finding Your First Job
- "I Got a Job" videos
- Career Depot for 14-18 year olds in the Brainerd Lakes Area
While the financial process may seem daunting, planning carefully and researching all of your options can save you thousands! Begin your search for college cash with scholarships and grants, which cost you nothing and do not have to be repaid. Its important to keep in mind, if you are awarded a grant or scholarship, the college will deduct that amount from the financial aid it would otherwise have given you.
When it comes to paying for college, it's always best to:
- Maximize FREE money first;
- Utilize CHEAP money;
- Fill the GAP responsibly.
Before applying for a private student loan, make sure you have thoroughly exhausted all sources of free and low-cost financial aid.
FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aids; your gateway to federal student loans.You must complete this form to receive federal, state, or college money. Certain scholarships and grants require it, as well. The FAFSA asks basic information regarding the borrower’s income, dependency status, and savings to determine financial need. It is important to complete this form as early as possible. For more information on the FAFSA, visit fafsa.ed.gov.
Scholarships and grants- There are numerous local and national scholarships available to students. Do your homework and apply for as many as possible. Visit any of these scholarship search engines to get started, or talk to your guidance counselor or financial aid office for additional resources.
- Dept. of Labor - Free Scholarship Search Wizard
- Federal Student Aid Website
The best solution is always to get the most "free money" first. Here are some quick tips for finding free money:
- Apply early, apply often - Apply for every scholarship and grant you can find, even if it may not seem like a perfect fit for your major or field of study. If you don't apply, you can't get it. You may not get everything you apply for, but getting your name out there is the only way to get ahead.
- Search local - Many local companies are looking for talented local students to assist. It gives them a good connection with you and the community; and, ultimately, gives you the free money you need. Start by calling reputable local businesses and ask them if they have a scholarship program in place.
- Look for work study programs - These programs can be hard to come by since most of them are need-based, but apply yourself early and get your name in the running for these positions; and you'll have an even greater chance at accessing money that doesn't have to be paid back.
This information is provided courtesy of The Credit Union Student Choice Program. Student Choice was created with one goal in mind - helping you finance a higher education without a higher price tag. Unlike other alternative loan products, Mid Minnesota’s Student Choice private loan solution offers zero origination fees, lower interest rates and flexible repayment options.
For more tools and resources, or to apply, visit mmfcu.studentchoice.org.
Student Choice Private Lending
Mid Minnesota is excited to introduce an alternative student loan program that helps students fill the funding gaps that federal aid can leave behind. Learn More >
Teen Club & Simply Checking
At Mid Minnesota, we don’t believe in hidden fees or service charges for becoming an adult. Our Simply Checking is just that – simple, and free! There’s no minimum balance, no monthly service charge; and we offer overdraft protection, 24-hour access to your account online or by phone, and free Visa Debit Card for electronic transactions. Learn More >
No-Surcharge ATM Service & CO-OP Shared Branching
Take advantage of MMFCU’s shared branching services and nationwide ATM's through CO-OP Shared Branch and you can access your account at any of the over 5,900 credit union branches nationwide, often just as if you were visiting one of our own.
Use your MMFCU Debit or ATM Card on MMFCU-owned ATMs and never be charged a fee from your credit union! Plus, MMFCU is proud to offer member access from HUNDREDS of machines throughout central Minnesota, and over 15,000 units across the country! MMFCU's ATM program includes unlimited, free transactions whenever you use the CO-OP Network. Learn More >
Visa $500 Limited Balance Credit Card*
Start building your credit responsibly. Learn More >
- How much should I save for college?
- How long until I reach my savings goal?
- How long will it take to become a millionaire?
*Any applicant under the age of 18 must have a parent/legal guardian as a joint cardholder or cosigner. Subject to credit approval.