How to get the best college financial aid deal possible

Financial aid office
Students enter the Admissions Building on the campus of Harvard University in this 2006 file photo.
Photo by Glen Cooper/Getty Images

College costs are rising, and so is student debt.

The average overall cost to attend an in-state public school was $22,261 this school year; for four-year private schools it was $43,289.

Many students are turning to loans to pay for school. Two-thirds of college seniors graduating in 2011 had student loan debt, with an average of $26,600 per borrower, according to The Project on Student Debt.

As college-bound high school seniors decide which school to attend — and how to pay for it — Brian Lindeman, Macalester College director of financial aid, and Susan Ant, director of financial aid and scholarships at Normandale Community College, join The Daily Circuit to discuss ways to get the best financial aid deal possible.

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How Final Is a College's Financial Aid Offer? Brian Lindeman answers this and other questions in a New York Times Q&A.

How to get the best student aid deal now "In recent years, many families have looked at their income levels, decided they wouldn't qualify for aid, and avoided applying altogether. Experts say this is a mistake." (Reuters)

Why Are College Textbooks So Absurdly Expensive? "You thought the rising cost of college tuition was bad? Then check out the rising cost of college textbooks." (The Atlantic)