Get Help with College Financial Aid Through the Library

By Keith Armour, Education & Homework Support Manager, Downtown Main Library

Getting ready for college and need help with finances? Many high school seniors are looking towards college this fall but wondering how to pay for school. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is open until June 30, 2021, for possible financial aid beginning this fall.

Live FAFSA Support Online

Filling out the FAFSA can be a complex, but necessary, process. Brainfuse HelpNow, an online resource free with your library card, now offers live online FAFSA tutors — available to help both students and parents complete the FAFSA application. Whether you are not sure how to start or have questions on specific aspects, Brainfuse tutors are ready to assist.

To find the service, visit Brainfuse HelpNow, click the Expert Help category in the navigation bar, then click on Featured Service in the dropdown menu.


As of the time of publication, live FAFSA help is available on Brainfuse HelpNow 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. EDT Mondays through Thursdays.

7 Things You Need to Fill Out FAFSA

You should know that there are seven things you need before filling out the 2021-22 FAFSA form:

  • Your Federal Student Aid (FSA) account number (Create one free on the Federal Student Aid website.)
  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Tax records
  • Records of untaxed income
  • Records of assets
  • List of possible schools

More Library Tools to Plan Your College Journey

Maybe you aren't ready yet to create an FSA account and begin the process. Visit our online research database Peterson’s Career Prep. There are checklists for students in grades 9 through 12 to plan their journey from high school to college. Parents, don’t worry there are checklists for you, too.

Peterson's also contains the following sections to help you prepare for college:

  • General Advice — Choosing a college, increase scholarship chances
  • Test Preparation Advice — ACT vs. SAT, mastering standardized tests
  • College and Scholarship Search — Includes more than 1,000 accredited schools

Not planning to head to college? Check out the Library's Career 101 virtual class series. It's packed with practical ideas to help you find a new-collar job or switch careers.