Now that you have carefully picked the college and major, you should think of getting financial aids, not to blow the student loan bubble further.
The reality is, most college students have a difficult time when it comes to paying the school expenses. As we all know, school fees are either maintained or increasing every year. Your decision is what matters most because it will determine your future and any mistake might hurt it. But don’t worry; there is still a solution to your every problem and it might not be too late to repair the damage.
College students should avoid these Financial mistakes in their college life:
1) Not checking for scholarship applications is a mistake often made by students. If you look well enough, you’ll find tons and kinds of scholarships both non-academic and academic. Some scholarships are awarded based on contest result, such as essay competition. Don’t be scared or intimidated to join such contests because that notion of yours that winning the contest is slim is wrong.
If you are already in a school, your chances of winning are now higher than ever. Also, you’ve got nothing to lose if you send your entry even if you’re hesitant about winning a contest. Who knows? You might win the contest or someone might discover how good your writing skills are.
Many scholarships are awarded not because of academic skill but, various other reasons like special skill, affiliation to certain groups, etc.
2) Turning down your work-study money is a really big mistake. A lot of people do everything they can to get a stable job and to earn money regularly. If you think about it, the job options for students are actually quite fun. Working for school programs, helping other kids with their lessons or working in the library isn’t that difficult compared to the work that adults do.
Besides, you should make use of your available time and use it for something important. In fact, working students are to look up to and is often recommended by other working students as well. It can also teach you something about financial responsibility which is a good thing to practice while it’s still early.
Don’t feel bad if you didn’t get your request for financial aid immediately. Just try again and ask for other types of study programs that you can apply to.
Additionally, if you are working in a similar field, then your employer may be willing to pay some, or all of your tuition. Online schools often participate in an employer tuition reimbursement plan. It may seem too good to be true, but it presents a scenario where everyone wins; your employer can rest easy knowing that the company does not have to dedicate extra resources toward training you, and you get to learn for free.
3) Not inquiring at your financial aid office will get you nothing. If you are really looking for help financially, you shouldn’t let your laziness get to you. Applying for financial aid scholarships will take in consideration your family’s income and your properties. They will also check if your parents are employed or unemployed and whether or not they are capable for paying your school fees.
Usually, your school will send someone to check out your home without prior notice. If they find that your parents cannot support you financially or, if one of them is unemployed, your eligibility for this scholarship gets higher. Expect to wait for some time after you apply, depending on how many people apply for the scholarship.
4) Not taking advantage of your federal loans – It may realize later that you should’ve done so, rather than going for private loans or your credit cards (or your parent’s). You can look for other repayment plans if you are having a hard time looking for a job or if you are some kind of financial difficulty.
Take in consideration student loans because it can help you in many ways. If you are afraid that you won’t be able to pay it and if you think that student loans will just I’ve you more problems, then think again. If your other option is to work two or more jobs, but in return you flunk your grades in school then it’s your choice. But if you get a loan, keep a stable job and manage your time and grades well, a student loan just might fit you.
Getting private loans without utilizing your financial aid may have you feel sorry in the end even if your goal is just to cover up the amount you owe. Take your time in completing FAFSA loans application because, you might be eligible for grants or for work and study money. It will also cost you less if you maximize your federal loan before getting a private loan. If you happen to be a dependent student you can borrow $5000 to $7000 as an undergraduate. Don’t be tempted to cover what you owe with a private loan.
5) Waiting too long to apply for Scholarship/FAFSA – Waiting will just get the scholarship to people in front of you. They may get the best offers while you, on the other hand, will be left with the lowest offers.
Even though universities are generous when it comes to giving out scholarships, there still have a limited amount of funding for grants and scholarships. Those who apply late are most likely to get loans only.
Always make sure that you apply early on and submit the requirements on time. Always do a check and be sure to give out everything accurately. Another thing you can do is you can ask for help from a counselor or get an advisor who knows how the system works. They will be able to help you get the best test scores and they can even guide you around it to ensure that you get the scholarship that you are applying for.
Send in your FAFSA application package as early as you can. Your college may have different cutoff date than June 30, which is FAFSA cutoff date.
If you have a credit history while entering college, always remember to check your credit score and your credit report before applying for a loan. As we all know, a bad credit will only get you a declined application and it may even hurt you chances of getting that loan in the future. Your actions as of the moment will determine your future and status. Being in college is not an excuse to not learn about financial responsibility. In fact, you should be preparing yourself early so that you’ll be able to handle yourself independently for what is yet to come.
Robert Henderson says
SB, great article. I am on the board of two scholarship foundations, and every year it amazes me how few students apply for scholarships. And I also get the opportunity to see where students are getting aid from. College is expensive, but it’s important to note that there IS MONEY OUT THERE for students willing to put in the effort of finding it and applying for it. They need to look at this as an investment in their future, and a JOB!
Daisy @ Add Vodka says
The first tip is definitely the best! I didn’t apply for any aide at all in my first couple of years. when I finally did, I got a $500 bursary. It was a huge financial relief.
Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter says
I agree. Scholarships and bursuries can be huge in preventing debt from school. My brother got almost all of his degree paid for. It was awesome.
Donny @ Extreme Money Saving says
Those are some excellent points made in the financial aid article. I missed out on a lot of financial aid money when I was in college simply because I was too lazy to apply for financial aid or procrastinated for too long. There was a lot more financial aid available that I thought there would be once I finally started going to the financial aid office on time.
You absolutely need to check out what your financial aid office has to say. You never know what funding is available to you until you ask. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
Lance @ Money Life and More says
Not going after scholarships is a huge mistake. I wish I had gone for more when I was in school. I wrote up a blog post about how to win scholarships so if you’re still in school I suggest you go check it out to win some scholarships!
Monroe on a Budget says
I did a Cash for College report earlier this year for Monroe on a Budget on scholarships that actually are available or going to students in my city, Monroe MI. While this was a very local series, the lessons play well to a national audience.
Key points include: While each foundation or civic club sets its own schedule, mid-Feb through April 1 of high school senior year is a particularly busy season for scholarships that are intended for college freshman year. Yes, this means students are applying for third-party scholarhips BEFORE they know what the college may award; but you need to go through the process anyway. Once the money is gone, it’s gone.
Another key point: community service is playing a VERY big role these days in where that scholarship money will go.
Third key point: many of the third-party awards are in the $500 to $1,000 range. That’s often the best the foundations and civic clubs are able to award given their earnings or fundraising results. But a handful of those little scholarships can make a serious dent in overall expenses.
Fourth point: You’ll find those local scholarship program announcements at your high school counselor’s office and / or your college’s financial aid office.
I just organized your four points to draw attention to it. I can’t thank you enough for this comment. May be you can put a link to the study out here…