College Financial Aid: Admissions Director's Five Tips for Getting It

Like many major purchases, the best tip for paying for college is simple but difficult: Start saving early -- like during infancy.

Contributing to a college savings plan early will lead to more money saved and more tax benefits. But even with such foresight, it still may only cover a third of the cost, requiring students to annually file a FAFSA form so they can try to get financial aid from their college.

The aid can come in the form of scholarships, grants and loans, and FAFSA -- the Free Application for Federal Student Aid -- helps colleges determine how much aid to give students. But there are steps that students can take, after their FAFSA form is submitted, to help them get the best financial aid package they can.

WalletPop discussed this with Jay Murray, director of admissions at Post University in Waterbury, Conn.; it has 800 undergraduate students and a total enrollment of 4,000 when online students are added. Murray has worked as a financial aid officer at three different colleges during the past 15 years.