Financial Aid Information
According to the US Department of Education, nearly 45 million Americans are still repaying student debt incurred during their college career. The earliest that the FAFSA form can be filled out is January of a student’s senior year. In contrast, the CSS Profile can be filled out during the preceding fall. Loan programs generally issue loans based on the credit history of the applicant and any applicable cosigner. This is in contrast to federal loan programs that deal primarily with need-based criteria, as defined by the FAFSA form.
Federal Direct Student Loans, also known as Direct Loans, are funded by the US Treasury. Private student loans, however, are not guaranteed, and are offered directly to students by a commercial bank, employee credit union, or finance company. Student loans should be seen as ‘the measure of last resort,’ as this entails graduating with substantial debt. Student credit cards may seem like a good short-term solution, but the interest rates are high, and credit cards often carry an annual fee. If you do end up using credit cards to meet some expenses, pay off the outstanding balance in full every month. You can get a credit report online by submitting a student credit card application, whether you are approved or not.
Scholarship Search, Government Grants
Peterson’s scholarship search is good to check not only for college scholarships, but also for the extensive resources on the college application process. Students with disabilities should apply for scholarship awards intended for people with specific disabilities, and search for foundations that support disability education. Many non-profit organizations have founded scholarships for prospective students. Average students often ask whether there are any scholarships available to students who don’t have a 4.0 GPA. In fact, there are many scholarships for average students, such as athletic scholarships, music scholarships, and need-based scholarships.
Financial Aid Loan Calulators:
Government scholarships and grants, combined with private scholarships, only account for a third of total college aid. Loans, earnings, and savings make up the remaining two thirds. In exchange for a service commitment, the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program provides you with money for college while you’re in school. Full ROTC scholarships pay for almost all tuition, fees, and textbook costs for four years of college. Call 1-800-USA-ROTC Army for more information. US Federal student loans and some private student loans can be discharged in bankruptcy only with a showing of undue hardship. Please note that financial aid application deadlines are strictly enforced by the financial aid office. The official FAFSA website is www.fafsa.ed.gov and is free. Copycat websites mimic the FAFSA website, but are deliberately misleading. A wealth of other financial aid forms are now available online.