Monthly archive March, 2008
Even with more and more schools making efforts to provide financial assistance, many students still find taking out college loans unavoidable. That’s why it’s important to be smart about the loans you take out. Before taking out any private or alternative student loans through a bank, make sure you’ve considered any of the federally regulated loans that may be offered through your school. You will need to file your FAFSA and completing the aid application process at your school before any of these are made available to you. Stafford Student Loans and Federal Parent PLUS loans are the most common. The terms and conditions for loans under programs like these are almost always better than any other loans that financial institutions offer independently. After you know you’re getting the most out of any federal loans available, that’s when it might time to look into private student loans if you still need more funding.
If you’ve been accepted to the school of your choice for the fall, and you’ve submitted your 2008-2009 FAFSA, there are a few quick, simple things you can do now to make sure your financial aid is on its way. First, contact the school’s financial aid office. Every school should have a financial aid representative that you can speak to. While it isn’t always good to rely on these people as a sole source of information, they are an invaluable resource. Each school administers financial aid just a little differently; so there are details you can only get from them. You might start by asking if the school has received your FAFSA information, how and when you will be receiving your award letter, and if there are any additional documents the school needs from you before that can happen. Next, make sure you are keeping an eye on your mail and the email account your school uses to communicate with you. Anything that comes to you from your school’s financial aid office you should open immediately. Pay particular attention to any dates, deadlines, or time frames that are stated. With these two steps taken, you should be feeling more confident [...]