Many times students fail to utilize all of their college financial aid options, simply because they are uninformed or misinformed. Hopefully we can help debunk some of the most common college financial aid myths, and get you headed down the correct college financial aid path.
Myth #1 – Financial aid means just student loans. Ah no, college financial aid includes grants and scholarships, both of which should be your absolute first means of financing your college education. Yes, this can take some work, you sometimes need to get references and write essays to apply for college scholarships, but would you rather write an essay and get free money for college, or repay a student loan back with interest?
Myth #2 – Scholarships are only for (soon to be) first year college students. Nope, again. Scholarships for college are offered to all levels of college students, all ages, and for all majors. Just because you didn’t think to apply for a college scholarship last year, doesn’t mean you can’t apply for one for the upcoming school year. You would honestly be surprised at how many different scholarships and grants are available to you and your specific area of study if you simply took the time to do some digging.
Myth #3 – My family makes too much money for me to receive federal financial aid. Again, another misconception. The truth is most students are eligible for some form of financial aid for college, but because they do not file a FAFSA they never will know… big mistake. Eligibility for financial aid depends on several things. The calculation of a family’s expected contribution (a student’s need) doesn’t only factor in a family’s income, but it also factors in the number of dependents in the household, the number of children in college, etc.
In order for college students to set themselves up for financial success after graduation, they need to began making the best financial choices while they are in college. Why not minimize the amount of debt you will have after college graduation, by maximizing your best financial aid options while in college?