Even to attend a public college in state, the average tuition bill can cost as much as $17,000, according to the latest statistics from the Huffington Post. With the state of the economy today, it’s no wonder that the average family is having a hard time affording college for one, if not multiple, children. Financial aid for college has never been more in demand.
If the cost of college tuition is causing a strain on your family’s finances and affecting your choices in where you apply to college, it may be time to consider a few simple ways to explore financial aid.
Looking into financial aid is the best option by far if your family can’t afford college, and you need help financing your tuition. Instead of forgoing college altogether, financial aid can grant you the opportunity to pursue your education at a larger selection of schools.
1. Don’t count yourself out just yet. Many students make the mistake of automatically believing that they are ineligible for financial aid. However, counting yourself out before you’ve even begun will eliminate hundreds, if not thousands, of free money opportunities.
Most students attending expensive colleges will apply for financial aid, but the competition is less fierce at inexpensive schools and community colleges. Check into your options to find out if you qualify for financial aid before throwing in the towel.
2. File for FAFSA at the beginning of the year. If you file for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid as close to January 1 as possible, it will improve your eligibility to get extra funding for college. Many students make the mistake of thinking that FAFSA should be filled out around tax time in April, but the majority of the funds may be gone by then.
3. Apply for scholarships early. Ever heard of the saying “the early bird gets the worm”? That should be your motto when applying for scholarships this year. Apply for as many scholarships as you can as early as possible, especially since the process is now made easy by applying for many scholarships online.
4. Familiarize yourself with the scholarship process. Understanding how you will hear back from each scholarship organization will make it easier to get you results fast. Find out if a scholarship organization will award funds by mail, via e-mail, or by logging into the official website.
5. Talk to a financial aid administrator. There’s no reason to be intimidated; financial aid administrators are there to help you. All over the country, you can freely contact financial aid administrators to ask questions or ask for help when submitting an application. It’s important to submit an application right the first time so that you can get approved for a scholarship faster, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
Bethany Ramos is a full-time freelance writer that specializes in Internet marketing and SEO. For the best selection of seminar tables and folding tables, please visit Best-folding-tables-and-chairs.com.