Financial Aid for College: Why Most Families Need to Apply

Most families are overwhelmed with the thought of paying for college.  They find the financial aid process confusing and some don’t even bother to apply.  Parents need to be encouraged to fill out the FAFSA form, and the CSS if applicable, even if they think they make too much money to qualify for financial aid.  Families with college-bound students need to understand the fundamentals of applying for financial aid.  There are so many myths surrounding the financial aid process and they need to be demystified.  Parents need to understand that a financial aid package consists of a combination of loans, scholarships and grants, and work-study programs.  Private scholarships are available, but they usually make up a very small percentage of money for college.  Helping students find schools that are affordable is not always as difficult as it may seem.  Some colleges are definitely more generous with financial aid and merit scholarships.  Click on the following link to clarify some of the misinformation about financial aid. http://wildammo.com/2011/10/19/8-myths-about-financial-aid-infographic/

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One Response to “Financial Aid for College: Why Most Families Need to Apply”

  1. John Kimball Says:

    College loans are your last resort, but most students do need them. Getting student loans leads to the ludicrous situation of borrowing money without actually knowing that you can make the monthly payments. Nevertheless, don’t get any loan without knowing how much your monthly payments will be and that it will fit within your likely monthly budget based upon your expected job. Here are some guidelines to keep your student loans under control. Student loans should not exceed the student’s expected starting salary. Parent loans should be able to be repaid within ten years or prior to retirement – whichever comes first. Another measure is to keep the student’s monthly repayment amount to 10-15% of their expected first year’s salary. Use the FinAid.org calculator to enter your major and other data to see how much your maximum, monthly payments could safely be.

    Every time you get a new college loan, know what your total debt repayment amount will be. Even as they grow, loan amounts may seem so huge and far away as to seem rather abstract. But once you convert that abstract loan amount to an amount you will have to repay every month for years and years, they may seem more real. Then you can calculate just how easily college loans could be paid – along with all your other expected expenses.

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