What You Need to Know About Financial Aid
There are a lot of decisions that need to be made when it comes to getting a college degree. What are you going to major in? What school are you going to attend? Are you going to live on-campus or off?
But of all these decisions, perhaps the most difficult one that has to be made is how a college education is going to be paid for.
While a college degree can be valuable for future financial success, acquiring the funds that are needed to attain that degree can be tricky. The costs of a secondary education are on the rise, and the ability to afford those costs is a growing concern for students and their families.
Students who do not have the money available to pay for college often rely on financial aid. But, where to begin? There are so many factors to consider, which can make trying to sort through financial aid options pretty dizzying. To make the process easier, and to avoid future economic hardship, here’s a look at some important things you should know about financial aid.
Look at Scholarships and Grants First
What if someone walked up to you and said, “Here’s money to pay for your college education, with no strings attached.” You’d probably jump at the opportunity. Well, that’s exactly what scholarships and grants are: free money!
Before you consider student loans, look into any scholarships and grants that you might be eligible for. From music to athletics, there are tons of resources available; you just have to do a little research to find them. Even if you aren’t awarded a generous grant or scholarship, several small ones can add up and help you save on your college education. Check out the type of scholarships that your top schools of choice offer and apply for as many as you can.
File for FASFA Early
If you are interested in applying for financial aid, filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) is vital. This form determines your eligibility for financial aid. The earlier you submit a FASFA form, the better your chances of receiving a strong financial aid package. Why? – Because there is more money available at the beginning of the year. After January 1, try to file your form as soon as possible. Also, make sure you send your FASFA form to all of the schools you are submitting an application to. Every college will be able to see what other schools you are applying to from your FASFA form, which may encourage them to award you a more attractive financial aid package and to persuade you to attend their institution.
Federal Loans are Better than Private Loans
If at all possible, try to avoid taking out student loans. Interest rates on student loans tend to be extremely high, which means you’ll end up repaying much more than you borrowed. However, if you do need to apply for a student loan, federal is better than private. Generally, federal student loans have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than private loans.
To learn more about applying or financial aid, or for assistance with the process, contact Tayne Law Group, P.C. Our debt relief lawyers will walk you through the entire process, help you review your financial aid package, and make sure your financial future will be bright after graduation.