About Student Financial Aid

Financial aid is a term used to describe all sorts of different forms of monetary support given to students to help them afford a college education. Financial aid can include loans, scholarships and grants, as well as federal and private student loans.

With college costs constantly rising, there has been a groundswell in the number of students applying for and receiving financial aid to pay for college.

Depending on the sort of financial aid a student qualifies for, his/her education costs could be completely or partially covered; if he/she is lucky, that student may qualify for certain grants or scholarships that will not need to be repaid. Financial aid is often essential for students to attend college and the benefits of financial aid are many.

Advice

If you are sending your child off to college, first you have a real careful discussion about responsibilities; who’s going to pay what and second that you have a four year plan. I have seen many families that just put it together, the schools, the student’s dreams, you work so hard to get there, you want to make it possible and after the first year, they sense they have just run out of money. And you really have to have a four year plan and know how it’s going to be financed each year and also, a good open conversation with the student as far as who is responsible for what part of the bill. One year for example if the student is going to work, how much money that you can contribute. A lot of students now for example, the summer before are going away to college , I know and it’s nice to have a good time there, but they could work that summer and maybe bring some money with them to school to help with the personal expense allowances. So I think that a good conversation and a four year plan and a careful adherence to a budget will be the most important things.


The Scholarship Center

Benefits

financial aidFinancial aid programs help students pay for their education, or parents who want to contribute funds to their children’s college education. For so many students, financial aid is the gateway to college. Financial aid has given millions of students the opportunity to receive higher education and realize their educational goals. Subsidized federal loans, a common form of financial aid given to students who demonstrate a degree of financial need, save students thousands by not accruing interest while the student is in school; Pell Grants, another form of need-based financial aid, can cover thousands of dollars towards tuition that never need to be repaid.

What types are available?

Financial aid comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be given out by the federal government, as well as state and local governments, businesses, individuals and private organizations. Financial aid is an umbrella term that includes scholarships, grants, work-study programs and both federal and private student loans.

merit loansWhat are merit and need based scholarships?

Merit based scholarships are awarded based on academic performance and may cover all or a portion of a student’s college and living expenses. Need based scholarships, on the other hand, are awarded on the basis of a student’s financial need and involves a complete evaluation of the family’s income and expenditures.

What other options are available?

Work-study programs provide funds to students to help them pay for tuition and other expenses by providing students with part-time jobs while they are in school.

The last form of financial aid a student should explore is student loans. Federal student loans should be taken out before private student loans and as their name suggests, are disbursed by the federal government. Federal student loans generally have lower interest rates than private student loans, thought they have lower borrowing limits and shorter repayment periods. Private student loans should only be considered after federal student loans are exhausted and it is essential to compare your private student loan options before applying. A good final form of financial aid, you can search, compare and apply for private student loans by using our Student Loan Comparison Tool above.

 
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