In addition to these sites, college counselors can give face-to-face guidance on financial aid and scholarships. Students can seek these experts out at a local college, even if it's not the school they plan to attend, said Heather McDonnell, associate dean of financial aid and admission at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, adding the majority of questions she gets can be answered by any college.
"Spend an afternoon at your neighboring college, even if you have no intention of applying. Go to one of their Saturday tours. Go to one of their information sessions ... so at least you're exposed," said McDonnell. "I wholeheartedly recommend that, particularly for those students who are first generation."
Trying to fund your education? Get tips and more in the U.S. News Paying for College center.