When Your Dream College Isn't Affordable
College financial aid letters force many students into making hard decisions. If your dream college or university isn’t offering enough financial aid, should you take on more debt to pay for your education there, or fall back to a more affordable school?
Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. Before making your choice, consider these tips:
1. Compare Financial Aid Packages
Write down the amount of financial aid each school has offered (scholarships, grants, etc.), then preferred loans (federal Perkins loans and subsidized Stafford loans, whose interest is paid by the government while you are in school), and finally other loans. Compare this data with the school’s cost of attendance (tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, etc.). Which aid package will really save you the most out of pocket?
2. Review Your FAFSA
Are there reasons why you need more aid since filing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), such as a job loss? If so, ask the school’s financial aid office if they will review the package they’ve offered. It is also important that you do not borrow more than you need. It is worth reviewing your budget to see if you can decrease your spending/expenses instead of borrowing more money.
3. Apply For Our Scholarship
Connected Credit Union is granting four $1,000 scholarships to qualified students looking to pursue post-secondary education or graduate degree. The applicant must be a member, must have been accepted to an accredited college, university or technical school and must demonstrate passing grades in all subjects. Please submit your scholarship application and accompanying materials to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than April 30.
4. Reach Out To Us
If there’s still a funding gap after you’ve maxed out government and school financial aid, give us a call. An option many credit union members have used is a loan or credit line secured by home equity – a relatively low-cost way to borrow that is usually tax-deductible. Working together, there’s a good chance we can find a path to higher education that’s right for you.
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