Tips to getting through college with minimal debt
and help for those who are in need
Going to college is expensive. No doubt about it, in fact, college debt is one of the highest value debts per person in the United States, and with college prices only going up, it's likely that problem is going to increase. The cost itself can make it very difficult for the average low-income family to attend but with proper usage of financial aid, and smart use of one's time, anyone should be able to make it out of college with a relatively low amount of debt.
Be active about your financial future!
You've applied all of this hard work trying to get into the college of your choice but have put no thought into how you're gonna pay for it! It's important to start asking your counsellors and mentors about how you might get financial aid. Near everyone is willing to help you, and with a little effort you can find out a ton about programs your school offers and different approaches you can take for aid.
Don't think you have to "Win" a scholarship
A lot fo colleges will work around how much your family can actually contribute and the majority of college scholarships are devoted solely to those in need, not to those who have shown outstanding performance in a particular discipline. If you are desperately in need your college should be willing to accommodate that somehow.
Don't count yourself out
If you think you might not be low enough income to count for the aforementioned scholarships, do not count yourself out! You have to consider that there is almost always a program willing to help you, even if you make a little more money than some others who are attending.
File the FAFSA
The incredibly complicated federal form for financial Aid. Filing this will help you see what federal help you qualify for and will really be essential in your fight to for your own financial future. It's important that you file this as truthful as possible as false information can be punished very harshly.
Not everyone gets financial aid, nor does everyone qualify. If you think you might have a poor shot at getting help then be careful not to plan too much of your future around the aid you may or may not be receiving. There are plenty of student loans available for someone in your position often they'll have much lower interest rates than your local bank.
Be timely about your paperwork
Nothing will get you out of a potential financial aid agreement quicker than not filing your paperwork in the firstplace. Turning it in your paperwork on time and filled out correctly will make you that much more likely to both get your financial aid and to receive it sooner.
Cross your fingers
Once you file your paperwork, often times you must wait to see if you've qualified. At this point all you can do is hope that you qualify and try and sleep soundly at night. If you do, then congratulations! You've just acquired some great financial help. If you don't, then it's definitely not the end of the world. A lot of people ask, how to get financial aid, but truthfully, it's not so difficult. You simply have to qualify, and put in the effort to file the paperwork. From there it's luck. So good luck, and have fun in college!