Applying For Federal Student Loans
The FAFSA is your application for federal student aid, which includes federal student loans. You can access the FAFSA online or with the myStudentAid mobile app. Remember to fill out and submit the FAFSA as soon as possible to maximize your chances of getting the most aid.
Once you complete and submit the FAFSA, the next step is to wait for financial aid award letters from the colleges you applied to. The letters will include a list of the federal financial aid you are eligible for. For example, your award may include the following types of need-based aid:
- Federal Direct Stafford Loan
What If My Familys Financial Situation Has Changed
If your family has experienced a job loss, illness or death that significantly reduced your ability to pay for college, you can file an appeal for additional financial aid.
Depending on your school, the financial aid office may instruct you to send a letter of special circumstance or direct you to a webpage where you can submit your appeal.
Be prepared with documentation about the length and impact of the hardship, advised Chris Doran, an Accredited Financial Counselor who works in financial aid and higher education.
Its not simply a matter of a student coming and saying, One of my parents has lost their job so we need you to cover the cost of attendance, he said. Thats not typically the way it works.
And be prepared to wait, since financial aid offices have been inundated with appeals from all of the other students affected by the pandemic.
should not necessarily expect that the appeals process is going to be resolved prior to the start of classes, Doran said.
I Didnt Get A Stimulus Check Because My Parents Claimed Me As A Dependent Is There Any Way For Me To Get That Money
Its unlikely youll see any stimulus money this year. With the tax deadline of July 15, its likely your parents have already filed their return.
However, there may be a way for you to get your hands on the money. How? By declaring your independence.
If your parents stop claiming you as a dependent and you file a 2020 tax return, you could qualify to receive that money eventually.
If you are able to cover over half of your expenses just yourself by your employment, it really doesnt benefit your parents to claim you, Aguilar said. But youre not going to see that stimulus check until next year, 2021.
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Can I Negotiate With My College For A Better Price
Its a bit unlikely, considering many colleges are facing shortfalls themselves.
However, particularly at private schools which have less regulations than public schools when it comes to negotiating the price you could have a bit more wiggle room.
Private universities that have a lot of endowment money theyll just offer it as a scholarship, which is really just discounting their fees, Dickenson said.
Consider Private Student Loans
Another option if you need to borrow more money than federal student loans can provide is to apply for a private loan from a bank, credit union, or other financial institution.
Private loans are available regardless of need, and you apply for them using the financial institution’s own forms rather than the FAFSA. To obtain a private loan, you will need to have a good credit rating or get someone who does have one, such as a parent or other relative, to cosign on the loan.
Having less-than-stellar credit can make it difficult to qualify for student loans. Private lenders will consider your income and credit history, and as a college student, you likely have poor credit or no credit at all. However, some lenders offer student loan options for borrowers with bad credit.
Generally, private loans carry higher interest rates than federal loans, and their rate is variable rather than fixed, which adds some uncertainty to the question of how much you’ll eventually owe. Private loans also lack the flexible repayment plans available with federal loans and are not eligible for loan consolidation under the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan program. However, you can refinance your private loans after you graduate, possibly at a lower interest rate.
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If You Must Borrow Student Loans
As a last resort, student loans could help you bridge the gap in your cost of attendance.
Before rushing to borrow, however, ensure you study up on the differences between federal and private student loans. For example, loans from the federal government come with added protections, including the ability to alter your repayment plan.
Private loans could be cheaper to repay with a creditworthy cosigner. Without mom or dads help, however, you might need to find an alternative cosigner.
When shopping around, compare all sorts of lenders including the federal government, your school, banks and credit unions to find the best loan for you and your family.
Remember: You have options when it comes to paying for college, even if you feel like your familys income is a deterrent when it comes to financial aid.
Keep the lines of communication open with your chosen schools financial aid office, and approach the problem collaboratively to find the best solution for your situation.
How To Pay For College When Your Familys Wealth Isnt Helping
Are you still wondering how to get financial aid if your parents make too much? Maybe thats because youre a dependent student who isnt receiving financial support from your well-off family. Consider that there are plenty of ways to pay for college by yourself.
You can start by taking ownership of the financial aid process and filling out the FAFSA yourself with the appropriate information. Make sure you stay on top of all essential FAFSA deadlines.
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If you still have a tuition shortfall after seeking scholarships, grants and other forms of aid, heres a piece of good news.
All is not lost if you dont qualify for financial aid from the school, Desjean said. Its important that families go out and look at other financing options.
Perhaps a simple solution like a tuition payment plan, which allows you to pay your school dues in smaller installments, could work. If not, it might be time to consider borrowing.
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I Turned Down Loans In My Financial Aid Offer Can I Change My Mind
If you initially declined federal student loans offered in your financial aid package, colleges and universities will reinstate the offer, according to Goldsworthy. Any scholarships, grants and work-study options you turned down may not be available, though.
Contact your financial aid office to ask them what you need to do to accept the loans.
Emergency Aid Grants And Scholarships
Many colleges offer help besides loans to students with emergency financial needs, according to the NASPA study. This could include:
- Campus vouchers to help cover on-campus costs like books and dining hall meals.
- Completion scholarships or grants, which can forgive a portion or all of the outstanding balance that might otherwise keep a student from advancing or graduating.
- Grants to help students experiencing hardships, which might require proof of hardship or emergency.
- Food pantries to ensure students dont have to go hungry.
Check with both your financial aid and student support offices, which oversee and administer most of these emergency aid programs.
Lastly, dont forget about non-institutional and non-federal student aid. There might be funds from alumni-funded foundations or other nonprofit scholarships or grants that can provide emergency assistance. Ask your financial aid administrator for help and research on your own to find opportunities.
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In 1804, 12th Amendment to the Constitution made sure that electors designate their votes for president and vice president, but the 12th Amendment leaves in place a tie breaking system established by the Constitution by which the House of Representatives breaks a tie on presidential electoral votes and the Senate
Are Emergency Student Loans A Good Idea
While emergency student loans can be helpful, theyre not for everyone.
Before you apply for aid, youll want to think about the following factors:
- Are you eligible? Not all schools offer emergency aid, and if they do, there could be eligibility requirements. In addition, emergency loans may not offer enough money to help you out.
- Will you be able to repay the loan? An emergency loan is still a loan, so carefully consider whether you really need debt. If you cant pay it back on time, it can jeopardize your education you may be subject to late fees, plus risk being denied registration for classes. In other words, make sure you have a plan to repay if you take out a loan.
- Can you afford the costs involved? The good news is that some emergency student loans dont charge interest, unlike other types of personal and student loans. However, you could pay a service or loan origination fee, so check before proceeding to see whether its something you can really afford.
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What Should I Consider When Shopping For A Private Loan
First, make sure you need a private student loan. These loans generally are not as affordable as federal student loans and offer little repayment flexibility.
Here are some factors to consider:
- Talk to your school’s financial aid office to get a form certifying that you need additional aid to cover the cost of attendance – most lenders require it.
- Shop for lower interest rates and loans that offer flexibility if you have trouble making payments.
- Some private lenders may advertise very low interest rates – remember that only borrowers with the best credit will qualify for these rates. Your rate could be much higher.
- In 2011, over 90% of private student loans required a co-signer, so make sure you have someone like a parent or another relative lined up. Your co-signer will be legally obligated to repay the loan if you can’t or don’t. You may want to consider loans that offer “201cco-signer release” after a number of on-time payments.
How To Borrow Responsibly For College
When youre borrowing money for college, its important to . We recommend these three steps:
Other tips for borrowing responsibly: Consider what your salary will be after you leave school, remember that youll have to pay back your loans with interest, and dont borrow more than youll need for school costs.
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Student Loan Rates Are Rising
Apply for a private student loan and lock in your rate before rates get any higher.
The Higher Education Act of 1965 gave financial aid administrators the authority to adjust FAFSA data thats used to determine financial aid. These data adjustments are made in the event of special circumstances that either have no place for inclusion in FAFSA or that happen after its submission.
This process of appeal is called professional judgment. To have any chance, though, youre going to have to learn how to ask for more financial aid. Here are the steps youll need to take:
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Our learning base features many practical guides that will teach you everything about the financial aid application for many well-known universities, including:
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Types Of Student Loans
Understand the different ways you can borrow money to help pay for college
After you’ve explored free money for college , you may want to look into , which are provided by the government, and then , which are provided by banks and other financial institutions, to help you pay for college.
Don’t forget, with both federal and private student loans, you’ll have to pay back the money you borrow plus interest.
Paying for college tip
With our private student loans, you can apply only once and get the money you need for the entire school year.
To submit the FAFSA for federal student loans , there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Remember that theres no cost for submitting it.
- Complete the FAFSA every year you need money for college.
- Get it in as soon after October 1 as possible. The earlier, the better, since some grant money is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Youll find out about how much youre eligible for in federal student loans when you receive your .
How Family Income Affects Your Financial Aid
Sure, income is considered when the Free Application for Federal Student Aid pumps out the Student Aid Index , formerly known as the Expected Family Contribution toward the cost of college. After all, you supply your parents tax returns when submitting your FAFSA.
But you might be surprised to learn that no income cutoff determines your eligibility for aid, said Desjean.
A family with a household income of hundreds of thousands of dollars, for example, could be helped by other factors in the FAFSA formula, including school cost and the number of siblings also attending school.
If you still think your parents are rolling in too much dough, consider using either the FAFSA4caster or your schools net price calculator. You can find the latter by Googling, net price calculator or by using the Department of Educations search tool. All colleges and universities are required by the federal government to host the calculator on their websites.
With either tool, youll punch in basic information about your familys finances and immediately see how much aid you might be eligible to receive for your cost of attendance.
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Check Emergency Aid Programs
Many schools offer emergency financial assistance. For example, the University of California, Davis, has emergency grants that dont require repayment. It also offers short-term loans that range from $500 to $1,500.
Always opt for grants first, and know the costs of any loan before borrowing. Leslie Kemp, director of the Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center at UC Davis, also encourages students facing financial shortfalls to think long-term.
Whats your plan when the $500 runs out? she says.
One solution is to use free resources that make other expenses, like groceries, more manageable. Kemp says theres a line out the door when her schools food pantry opens.
If you cant find similar services on your campus, Kemp says to look for help at religious organizations, food banks and other nonprofit groups.
So You Still Had To Take Out Student Loans That’s Ok
Even with strict budgeting, scholarships and part-time jobs, you still may need to take out a loan. That’s not the end of the world: as long as you’ve done your best to limit the amount of money you need to borrow, you’ll have significantly less to repay after college. The key is to avoid getting saddled with debt that will take more than a decade to pay off.
Before starting college, it is important to determine how much debt you can afford to take on. Calculate how much you’d have to pay per month and for how long to fully repay your loans. The amount of debt depends on a variety of factors, including the cost of tuition, housing expenses, and your job. Due to these circumstances, people have different capacities to manage debt, and should determine how much they can take out accordingly. A common guideline to heed is that your total debt upon graduation should be less than your annual starting salary a debt of that size will allow you to comfortably repay what you owe in 10 years or less. If you have to borrow more money than that to finance college, consider looking into different schools. It is important to realize that there are ways to strategically save as you earn your degree, while still having a fulfilling and intellectually stimulating college experience.
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Am I Eligible For Federal Student Aid
Eligibility requirements for federal student aid include:
Being a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen
Remaining in good standing on any federal student loans you have
Being in or accepted for an eligible degree or certificate program
Maintaining adequate academic progress
How do I apply for Federal Student Aid?
Create an FSA ID account if youre going to submit your FAFSA online or track its status online. If youre going to submit a paper FAFSA by mail and wont be tracking its status, you wont need an FSA ID.
Know what happens after you submit the FAFSA. This includes:
Learning how to correct or update information on it.
Finding out how and when youll get your aid.
Know the Deadlines for Submitting the FAFSA
The federal deadline for submitting the FAFSA for the 2021-22 school year is June 30, 2022.
The federal deadline for submitting the FAFSA for the 202021 school year is June 30, 2021.
Many states and colleges use the FAFSA for their financial aid programs. Those deadlines vary.