INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS
Understanding how to pay for college can be challenging as there are so many terms, rules, regulations, and questions to ask. Your brain may feel overwhelmed with all the different elements of this process. However, the information within this section will assist you in making the best-informed decisions around financing your post-secondary education.
THE STARTING POINT
TO DO LIST!
Follow-up with the financial aid office about additional aid opportunities.
Research external scholarships.
Keep track of your loan history.
Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
Budget personal finances.
Top Ten Questions to Ask The Financial Aid Office:
- What types of financial aid is offered?
- What opportunities are available for additional aid?
- What is the total cost of attendance?
- How many credits do I need to receive financial aid?
- Do you offer work-study opportunities?
- Are payment plans available?
- When will I receive my award letter?
- What are the deadlines for accepting/declining an award package?
- Do you offer financial aid workshops and webinars?
- What is the average debt student’s have after graduation?
Know What You Owe!
If you plan on borrowing student loans be sure to know what you owe! Keeping track of your loan history is critical to your financial security post college. Therefore, you can keep track of your loan history by following these five steps:
Understand the Costs of Attendance and student account balance.
Speak with financial aid and your potential loan servicer about payment and loan options.
Borrow what you need, not what you WANT!
Understand your repayment possibilities by contacting the loan servicer.
- Use the repayment estimator via studentloans.gov to view how much the loan will cost in total.
Build a positive relationship with the loan servicer.
Federal Loans vs. Private Loans
- Funded by the Federal Government
- Repayment begins six months after you graduate, leave school, or change your enrollment status to less than half-time.
- The interest rate is fixed and is often lower than private loans.
- For most federals, a credit check is not required loans (except for PLUS loans).
- If you are having trouble repaying, you may be able eligible for a deferment or forbearance.
- Track your federal student loan history through the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
- Funded by banks
- Many private student loans require payments while you are still in school.
- Have variable interest rates, some greater than 18%.
- Are credit based, so you may need an established credit record in order to secure a loan or a co-signer.
- Private lenders may not offer deferment or forbearance options.
- Less flexible repayment options
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