Now that you’ve deciphered your Student Aid Report, you’ve realized you still don’t have the funds to attend the college of your dreams. Now what? You have a few options to consider, before reconsidering your number one school.
1. Begin a scholarship hunt. Scholarships are free money. Remember you can find scholarships that are awarded for athletics, academics, volunteering, background, etc.
2. Appeal your financial aid award. Contact the school and see if they can provide you with a more favorable financial aid package. This idea may seem far-fetched to some, however if you are an excellent student and have a variety of offers on the table for various other schools…your number one school may be willing to work with you. They don’t want to lose the best and the brightest.
3. Research and apply for private loans. These loans are credit based–therefore nearly all undergraduate students will require a co-signer. A private loan will allow you to borrow up to the entire cost of your education–meaning as long as you repay no school is out of the question. Remember, private loans will have higher interest rates than federal school loans do. Check out these creative ways to pay back your student loans.
4. Consider benefits from your parents’ employers. Look beyond tuition and scholarships: There might be workplace programs to lower the cost of computers, insurance, or travel.
5. Investigate tuition payment plans. These plans could spread tuition expenses out over the year. Contact your school’s financial aid officer for information.
6. Verify that any special circumstances were considered. If you are unsure, talk with the school’s financial aid officer about your situation. If anything has changed since you filed your FAFSA, let them know as you could qualify for special circumstances.
Remember to keep your options open and keep looking. While the financial aid process is not easy, if you want something bad enough you can find a way to make it work. Your best bet is to do your research and discover your options!
This article was originally published on college financial aid advisors.com