How do you get enough financial aid to cover your expenses when you are enrolled in two colleges at the same time?

  • For starters, always get your taxes done ASAP each year, and file for financial aid as early as the first week of January through FAFSA.ed.gov. The amount you receive is dependent on how early you file. More money is given to those who apply early, less if you file by the deadline (usually the first 2-3 days of march). Depending on income (especially your parents income if you are 24 or younger) you can receive federal grants. Each state also offers grants based off of your FAFSA application, and if you can't receive grants, depending on your parents income, you can still receive a fee waiver to have free or discounted tuition. Also, although it may be lying, students who say they will be living off-campus receive more than those who admit that they will be living with their parents.
  • Apply for work study programs if they are offered to you as well.
  • You need to decide what college you want to attend as your "degree granting institution," and fill out the financial aid paperwork for that school. Then, ask for the amount of aid needed to fund your education at both schools. More than likely, one would only take a couple of classes at their "secondary" school. If the financial aid from scholarships and government loans are not enough to cover the costs, private funding may be an option. Keep in mind though, that private loans are credit-based loans that require an established, positive, credit history. Moreover, if the student will not be working, it will probably be necessary to obtain a cosigner to guarantee the loan. Further, these loans, generally, have higher interest rates and other fees than that of government-backed loans; they should be used as a last resort.
  • If there's a will, there's a way! Think ahead so that you can plan the things you will going to do so that you can go to two colleges and have enough money for both!
  • Federal or state financial aid in the form of grants or loans CANNOT be used at two schools at once. It's illegal.