The early bird gets the worm. This adage especially applies to prospective college students who fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid early in the year. The earlier you fill out the FAFSA forms, the better your chances of getting certain types of government assistance.
But the truth is, students who understand the financial aid system more thoroughly have a better chance of getting a free college ride.
While grants and scholarships hog the financial aid spotlight, lesser-known programs, such as tuition waivers and academic reciprocation agreements, can eliminate college costs just as easily. Check out these seven financial aid programs you have probably never heard of.