Top 10 Forums on Financial Aid

August 29, 2022

Looking for more tips on college scholarships, grants, and loans at specific schools? One of the simplest ways to find more information is through online forums.

Just head to Reddit, Facebook, or Discord. Below, we’ve compiled a list of forums where current students, alumni, and parents interact with prospective students and their families about the nitty gritty of paying for college tuition. Think of it like this: a financial aid officer can answer your questions, but a graduate of the same school might have a few other pieces of advice.

ApplyToCollege on Reddit

905,000 contributors

Great for: High school students

This channel was created by students, for students. Members regularly cover topics that high school students are concerned about when preparing for college. This includes technical topics, along with more emotional questions. Whether looking for a piece of detailed advice or to build a community with like-minded peers, ApplyToCollege has a post for you.

Sample forum topics:

  • How to beef up extracurricular activities to nab extra financial aid
  • How to super-charge your high school academics—even if you think you slacked off too much freshman and sophomore year
  • A breakdown of financial aid at Washington University for international students
  • Which safety colleges are the most financially accessible?

College on Reddit

1.6 million contributors

Great for: College students

From the latest news on student loans to friends faking ADHD to get disability accommodation, there is no topic too heady or petty for this forum. It’s a multi-faceted center for student-led resources—and it’s not short on advice on how to get and manage financial aid.

Sample forum topics:

  • Any and all FAFSA/financial aid questions
  • How to deal with workload balance for students who have work-study obligations
  • Choosing to attend a community college for financial wellness... then hating the stigma that comes with community college
  • How Biden’s student debt cancellation is actually panning out for debt-holders

StudentLoans on Reddit

168,000 contributors

Great for: Students and parents with student loan concerns

Getting that golden acceptance letter is an exciting time for students. But it’s usually followed by a scramble to figure out which financial aid options are available to them, from college scholarships to student loans. And even a finance major might have trouble differentiating terms and concepts.

Reddit’s StudentLoans channel shines a light on even the most granular topics related to student loans and student loan repayment options. From interest rates to Biden’s debt forgiveness plan, this thread lets you get into the weeds with other students.

Sample forum topics:

  • How to get a refund of payments made during the CARES Act Covid-19 period
  • How to get a $20,000 refund according to Biden’s debt forgiveness plan
  • How to get a student loan as an international student without a co-signer
  • How to refinance a Perkins Loan

PersonalFinance on Reddit

16.3 million contributors

Great for: Anyone wanting to learn more about personal finance

A mindful approach to personal finance is a great foundation for handling college tuition costs. Why not get started by building a basic understanding of personal finance from multiple angles?

Sample forum topics:

  • Which funds are best for parents looking to save for higher education costs?
  • Tips on weekly, monthly, and annual budgeting plans
  • How to leverage money in a savings account for different purposes, including paying for college tuition costs
  • Advice for financing for young adults in their early 20s

Premed on Reddit

280,000 contributors

Great for: Premed students

Few degree programs are as demanding and stressful as premed. On this forum, students from across the country post about the ins and outs of their premed experience.

Sample forum topics:

  • Common interview questions, including the most difficult ‘nightmare’ questions
  • How to withdraw an AMCAS application after missing a rescheduled MCAT
  • How to manage costs that aren’t included in premed tuition
  • Which schools have the happiest premed students

A2C on Discord

18,000 contributors

Great for: High school students

A2C, an acronym for Applying to College and a partner page of the same Reddit channel, covers absolutely any topic that a high schooler might be interested in before applying to college—financial aid topics included.

Paying For College 101 on Facebook

158,000 contributors

Great for: Parents

Created by families, for families. This page is great for parents who may not know anything about college or what to do after their child is accepted. Posts cover the most common questions related to financial aid, student loans, test prep, need and merit-based aid, and cost of attendance. The private group is moderated to keep topics aligned, while Facebook’s easy-to-use platform means anyone can join a conversation.

With hundreds of posts per day and over 150,000 members, Paying For College 101 lets parents ask any question that’s on their minds. If there isn’t an expert who can answer them, there’s another parent who can share insight from their own journey.

Sample forum topics:

  • What financial aid other families of similar backgrounds have received
  • How to leverage savings and investments toward college tuition costs
  • Types of merit scholarships available to students with different (often niche) talents
  • Which questions to ask at a college’s financial aid advisors

College Talk on Facebook

11,300 contributors

Great for: High school students and parents

College Talk is a great option for anyone with a pressing question about a specific college—financial aidincluded. The group regularly hosts free webinars from college experts on various topics, from homeschooling to student culture. Moderators prevent any paid promotions from schools, which means all the advice shared on the page is neutral and honest.

Sample forum topics:

  • Insight into the admissions process at a specific school
  • Which college scholarships are available at which schools, including smaller regional scholarships
  • How to fill out FAFSA and get started paying for college

The $cholarship Club on Facebook

14,600 contributors

Great for: High school students and parents

Finding scholarships and grants are two of the best ways to offset college tuition costs. But which type of financial aid should you pursue? On this forum, members regularly post about the latest private and public scholarship opportunities that cater to students of all stripes.

Sample forum topics:

  • How to fill out and submit FAFSA forms
  • How to leverage ACT and SAT scores for greater financial aid
  • Part-time employers that help pay for college tuition with private scholarships, like Chik-Fil-A and Starbucks
  • Scholarships for certain majors, such as fashion design


300,000 monthly visitors

Great for: Parents

Regarded as one of the ultimate college resource forums, College Confidential hosts discussion threads that touch on pressing issues like student transfers and college essays. One of their most extensive forums covers college scholarships. Here, parents and students can trade advice and insights based on their own experiences. Best of all, topics tend to be specific to either a school or a scholarship.

Sample forum topics:

  • Merit aid for lacrosse players
  • How to stack college scholarships for National Merit recipients
  • Advice on transferring out of a community college
  • How to handle a financial aid adjustment after changes to a FAFSA filing

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