Unfortunately, a number of misconceptions exist when it comes to college financial aid, some that we would like to quickly clear up. For instance, some people simply never pursue going to a certain college or university because they feel it is too far out of their grasp financially. The truth is that with so many financial aid options to include grants, scholarships, student loans, private loans, and work studies, colleges and universities that you may feel you could never afford may actually be the very schools you could attend simply by knowing and using financial aid solutions.
Remember, a specific formula is used by educational institutes to determine assets, income, and debt so the amount of financial aid could be determined. This formula is the same throughout the country and the process involved to find out how much financial aid you would qualify for easy. Remember, because there are so many different financial aid opportunities, just because you may not qualify for one does not mean something else would not be made available for you so you can earn your college degree in the school of choice.
Another misconception about financial aid is that once you are accepted into the school, no money has to be repaid. Now, while there are a number of options whereby financial aid is “free money”, there are other types of financial aid that do require repayment. Therefore, instead of assuming that all college financial aid is free, it would be to your advantage to research the various types of financial aid or sit down with someone in the college or university’s financial aid office to understand fully your options.
If you are a parent, you should never think that just because the number one priority is your own children’s future college education that you cannot afford to earn a college degree for yourself. The great thing about college is that it is for people of all ages who have earned a high school diploma and passed the entrance exams, regardless if they are parents or not. In addition, remember that with a college degree, you would have many more doors of opportunity opened for great paying careers that long-term would be more beneficial to your children.
Then there is the question whether the cost of a college education is a good or bad investment. Without doubt, getting a college degree is always an excellent investment but, it becomes a better investment when not spending full price to earn it. Again, this is why looking at all options for financial aid is so critical. A perfect example of this has to do with scholarships. Most people think they have only a handful of possibilities that relate to academics and athletic ability but in truth, there are literally hundreds and hundreds of scholarships available, some downright bizarre. Therefore, before getting in too deep, learn what you can about money that can get you through college so ultimately, you end up with a better paying and more secure career.
Finally, it is sad that so many people believe the only people who qualify for financial aid are low income. While there are some exceptional possibilities specifically for people in need, money for college is also available for everyone. Again, doing your homework, talking to a counselor or someone in the financial aid office and then following through in securing money is all it takes. While you may not get as high an amount of aid, there is still plenty of money to help anyone who wants to better themselves by earning a college degree.