When considering any post secondary education the first question people often have to ask themselves is "how on earth am I going to pay for this". It's not news that the cost of education in America is rising, but so are the financial rewards you'll receive in the years after you get your degree. In order to combat this barrier to entry for many potential students, the government provides assistance called Federal Student Aid, usually just called Financial Aid. Financial Aid has helped millions of students afford school and is a great opportunity for people without the means to pay for school on their own to get an education.
Important things to know before applying for Financial Aid are the basic eligibility criteria. Aside from financial need you'll need to be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen with a Social Security number. You'll also need to have a high school diploma or GED. You'll also need to be accepted for enrollment in an eligible degree or certificate program and be enrolled at least half time to be considered for Financial Aid. Once you've met all these requirements you'll have to fill out the FAFSA.
The most important thing to know about Financial Aid for Massage Therapy or any program is how to complete a FAFSA, which stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The application can be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The federal government has various tutorials, as well as guidance videos available for students to watch pertaining to the FAFSA at www.financialaidtoolkit.ed.gov. The second most important thing is to create an FSA ID in order to electronically sign your FAFSA, as well access your application via the web. Beyond all this you'll need to provide tax information and some other person information to determine how much you'll get in aid.
The most important advice I can give someone who is about to start their research and application process for financial aid is to make sure you do your research and not fall for any scams. Make sure you are on the government websites, which should all have a .ed or .gov at the end of the site address. Be very careful NOT to fall for scams and promises of free money (there is no such thing). In addition, the federal government will never charge you anything to apply for Federal Funding. You should never have to pay for any service pertaining to Federal Funds. There are a lot of companies getting into the student loan business because it's such a lucrative way to make money ,but be very, very wary of these companies and always err on the side of caution.
If you choose to borrow student loans in order to fund your education, be a wise borrower and only borrow what you need. While it may seem like easy and fast cash now you're going to have to pay it back, with interest, sooner rather than later. Having debt collectors banging on your door is not the way anyone wants to start a new career.