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As students start applying for financial aid for the 2009-10 academic year, it is important for them to remember that they should never have to pay to apply for financial aid.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), found at, is the only form students need to complete to apply for federal and state financial aid. There is no cost to submit the form.

In addition, students should never have to pay to apply for scholarships. (See “Eight Steps to Winning a Scholarship” for tips.)

At this time of the year, students and parents often receive notifications from a variety of companies offering scholarships and the other financial aid services for a fee. While not illegal, the services these companies provide are the same actions students and parents can do for themselves for free.

An example of one such company is outlined in a recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article:

UW Oshkosh’s Financial Aid Office, Dempsey 104, is the best resource for UW Oshkosh students and their families seeking financial aid information.

For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office at (920) 424-3377 or

Student Financial Aid Director Beatriz Contreras submitted this article.