5 Questions I Wish I Asked About Financial Aid Before Enrolling in College
Financial aid is a handy tool that helps get students through college. Paying for school can be a huge challenge, especially when you have little to no help from your parents or other family members. Though financial aid is a big help when pursuing higher education, there are some things that may not be clear. Here are some questions every college student wanting financial aid should ask.
What is work-study?
Work-study gives you the opportunity to work on or off-campus at an approved part-time job. These jobs allow you to earn money to put toward tuition and other college expenses. Work-study grant amounts vary depending on a student’s financial need and family contribution. Students are allotted a certain amount of work hours a week depending on the amount they are eligible to earn.
What’s the deal with student loans?
Student loans are tricky and should only be used if they are necessary. Loans accumulate interest over time, and it can add up faster than you expect. It is important to keep that in mind, so you are not surprised when you start getting bills. With most federal and private student loans, you don’t have to start paying them back until after you graduate, which gives you time to find a job and get prepared to start repayment.
What information do I need to complete a FAFSA?
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application requires personal and financial information about your parents and yourself. Having you and your parents’ tax and financial information close by and tax papers from the prior-prior year (for the 2018-2019 school year, you would use tax information from 2016) will make the process go smoothly. We have a checklist of documents you’ll need to complete the FAFSA here.
Do I only need to fill out the FAFSA to receive financial aid?
Each school gave their own set of requirements for completing the financial aid process. There may be additional documents needed depending on the school, but filing a FAFSA every year you need aid is the best place to start. Once you have all requirements complete, you will just have to wait on everything to process and then you will be able to see and accept any awards offered to you.
Can I receive financial aid for summer classes?
It is possible to receive enough financial aid to cover summer classes, but it depends on how much you are awarded for any given year, and it can vary by school. Check with your financial aid office for more information or for further instruction on where to go to find out if you will have enough financial aid to cover the costs of summer classes.