Discover the Surprising Truth About Scholarships, Grants, and Loans – Maximize Your Aid Today!
||Research financial aid options
||Financial aid includes scholarships, grants, and loans
||Not applying for financial aid can result in missed opportunities for funding
||Complete the FAFSA
||FAFSA determines eligibility for need-based aid
||Failing to complete the FAFSA can result in missing out on need-based aid
||Apply for scholarships
||Scholarships can be merit-based or need-based
||Not applying for scholarships can result in missed opportunities for funding
||Consider work-study programs
||Work-study programs provide part-time jobs for students with financial need
||Work-study programs may not provide enough income to cover all expenses
||Understand types of loans
||Loans can be subsidized or unsubsidized
||Taking out too many loans can result in high levels of debt
||Apply for grants
||Pell grants are need-based grants provided by the government
||Not applying for grants can result in missed opportunities for funding
||Consider direct loans
||Direct loans are provided by the government and have fixed interest rates
||Not understanding the terms of the loan can result in unexpected payments
||Maximize aid by combining options
||Combining scholarships, grants, and loans can provide the most funding
||Overestimating the amount of aid received can result in financial difficulties
- What is the Difference Between Loans and Financial Aid?
- Understanding Merit-Based Aid: What You Need to Know
- Direct Loans vs Indirect Loans: Which One is Right for You?
- Common Mistakes And Misconceptions
What is the Difference Between Loans and Financial Aid?
Understanding Merit-Based Aid: What You Need to Know
Understanding Merit-Based Aid: What You Need to Know
Overall, understanding the selection and renewal criteria, checking for need-blind admissions policies, looking for full-ride scholarships/grants, understanding the role of the scholarship committee, and paying attention to the application deadline are all important factors to consider when seeking merit-based aid. It is also important to note that not meeting the selection criteria or missing the application deadline can result in disqualification from receiving merit-based aid.
Direct Loans vs Indirect Loans: Which One is Right for You?
||Determine your financial need and cost of attendance.
||Financial need is the difference between the cost of attendance and your expected family contribution.
||Not knowing your financial need can lead to borrowing more than necessary.
||Apply for federal student aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
||Federal student aid includes grants, work-study, and loans.
||Missing the FAFSA deadline can result in reduced aid or no aid at all.
||Consider subsidized loans first.
||Subsidized loans do not accrue interest while you are in school or during deferment periods.
||Subsidized loans have lower borrowing limits and are only available to undergraduate students with financial need.
||If you need to borrow more than the subsidized loan limit, consider unsubsidized loans.
||Unsubsidized loans accrue interest while you are in school and during deferment periods.
||Unsubsidized loans have higher borrowing limits and are available to undergraduate and graduate students regardless of financial need.
||If you still need additional funds, consider PLUS Loans.
||PLUS Loans are available to graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students.
||PLUS Loans have higher interest rates and require credit checks.
||Compare direct loans and indirect loans from private lenders.
||Direct loans are provided by the federal government, while indirect loans are provided by private lenders and guaranteed by the government.
||Indirect loans may have higher interest rates and fees, and may require credit checks.
||Choose a repayment plan that works for you.
||Repayment plans include standard, extended, graduated, and income-driven plans.
||Choosing a longer repayment plan may result in paying more interest over time.
||Understand the consequences of defaulting on your loans.
||Defaulting can result in wage garnishment, tax refund seizure, and damage to your credit score.
||Ignoring your loans can lead to default and long-term financial consequences.
||Take advantage of grace periods and deferment options.
||Grace periods allow you to postpone payments after graduation, and deferment options allow you to temporarily postpone payments during financial hardship or enrollment in school.
||Not taking advantage of these options can lead to missed payments and default.
Common Mistakes And Misconceptions
|Scholarships are only for academic achievers.
||While some scholarships do prioritize academic excellence, there are also many other types of scholarships available based on financial need, community involvement, leadership skills, and more. It’s important to research and apply for all the scholarships you may be eligible for.
|Grants are only available to low-income families.
||While grants do prioritize students with financial need, there are also merit-based grants that consider factors such as academic achievement or specific talents/skills. Additionally, some grants may have specific eligibility requirements based on demographics or fields of study. It’s important to research and apply for all the grants you may be eligible for.
|Loans should always be avoided because they lead to debt.
||Loans can be a valuable tool in financing your education if used responsibly and within reason. Federal student loans often have lower interest rates than private loans and offer flexible repayment options after graduation. However, it’s important to borrow only what is necessary and understand the terms of your loan agreement before accepting any funds.
|You can’t receive both scholarships/grants AND loans at the same time.
||It is possible (and common) to receive a combination of scholarship/grant aid along with federal student loans in order to cover the full cost of attendance at a college or university.
|Applying early doesn’t matter when it comes to receiving aid.
||Many forms of financial aid (such as FAFSA) operate on a first-come-first-served basis – meaning that applying early can increase your chances of receiving more aid overall since funds may run out later in the application cycle.