Financial Aid Truths We Almost Forget

Thinking about college applications is an exciting time for both students and parents. It is time to start scouting for the right schools and also start stressing about the impending costs associated with college. Nobody ever said that college education comes cheap and as tuition bills start to pile up, this reality becomes all too real and heavy. Thankfully, there is financial aid that students can turn to. However, several common myths and misconceptions are often associated with financial aid and, more often than not, these misconceptions have a tremendous impact on your finances.

Truths about financial aid to remember

There are several financial aid truths that we almost forget by believing otherwise. It is important that we steer clear from such misconceptions in order to optimize the aid that we can get and save on college costs.

Truth #1: It is better to send out applications for financial aid even when you think you wouldn’t qualify. After all, it doesn’t cost you anything to try. Yet, your assumption that you wouldn’t qualify could cost you a lot. The director of financial aid at Grinnell College in Iowa, Brad Lindberg, shared that families should never assume that they are ineligible for financial aid. Instead, they should make an extensive study on every aid available from target colleges and universities. Financial calculators can only offer you mere estimates so even if your computation would indicate that you wouldn’t be able to qualify. Send out an application for both institutional and federal aid anyway.

Truth #2: Your expected family contribution is a guide and not the exact amount of what you will be paying for. Estimates are rarely the exact amount that you would be paying for. In fact, estimates could be very far from the actual figure incurred. It is the same way with EFC.Sometimes, you would pay something that is grossly different from the estimated amount.

Truth #3: Prepaid tuition plans may fluctuate. These are investments and the nature of investments is that they are subject to risks. So even if you have available education plans, they may not be enough to be able to cover all the expenses. While it is good to have such assets, you need to be ready as they are not a guarantee that you can pay for your tuition wholly. You may miss out on some opportunities for financial aid just because you thought that you have everything covered.

Truth #4: Everything is considered in financial aid. It’s not just the numbers that have weight in financial aid. Although your family’s gross income would come to play, other considerations such as loss of employment, hospital bills and more. So even if your family’s gross income may be a little bit higher than what is normally accepted, you may still be able to qualify because your family’s net income may be quite small.

When it comes to financial aid, it is important that you get your facts right. Otherwise, this could cost you several dollars worth of financial aid.

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