College fees are on the rise but a college education is still affordable to more people than is generally believed. Plenty of colleges provide excellent education at a price that can be well managed with the financial aid available. The motive of educational financial aid is to provide equal access to all students. Two-thirds of students enrolled in colleges for full-time under graduate classes receive financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, federal student loans, and work-study arrangements.
An Overview of Financial Aid
The criteria for financial aid to fund college classes is based on a family’s income, medical expenses, number of family members in college, savings, and assets, if any. The family of a student is expected to contribute as much as they can towards the cost of the college education. If the family cannot afford the entire cost then financial aid to help pay for college is available. Though financial aid is need based, the student performance in high school must be in good & solid standing and academic excellence has to be maintained to renew the aid every year. Why would they offer financial aid to a slacker or someone who does not take their education serious?
High Income Families
The Expected Family Contribution Calculator helps determine the amount a family is expected to contribute. Even if a student’s family has a higher income, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid should be filled-in at the start of the academic year to determine availability of federal grants, work-study, and loans since the federal government or individual colleges and universities determine the awarding of aid.
Different Types of Student Loans
There are three main types of financial aid available to pay college costs: the first one is Grants and Scholarships. It is also called the gift aid and comes from state and federal governments and individual colleges. A student does not have to repay this aid nor work to receive it and is based on merit. Work-study aid is a federal program that pays for education costs such as books, personal expenses, and supplies with part-time employment. This also helps a student gain valuable experience while studying. Loans are financial aid that has to be repaid by the student after graduation but the loan does not accrue interest during college years or even if the student decides that walking into a master’s program is what they want to do. Moreover, the loans are provided by the federal government and are subsidized.
Financial aid is normally provided by public colleges and some private ones may also consider purely based on merit. But selecting a college that meets with a student’s personal, career, and academic needs is more important than the type of college. Dropping out of college is expensive, changing majors just adds onto the time it takes for you to graduate – therefore costing you even more money. You need to plan this process out and consider all aspects. College can be a lot of fun or it can be drudgery.