Federal Aid for Students “Without Need” | 03.16.10
In my experience as a former college student, and seeing the individual cases of friends and peers going through the financial aid process, I saw that in some cases, the FAFSA doesn’t always tell a clear picture of a student’s financial situation. Often, parents’ income will dilute the amount of aid that a student would otherwise receive toward their education, regardless of the fact that the parents’ money may or may not be used to pay for their child’s schooling.
As a personal example, my parents owned a small business which technically makes a good amount of money on paper, but the reality is the net income is far less. Between paying salaries, benefits, building rent and fees, and other related costs, the profit was very slim compared to the revenue. Thus, when I would file my FAFSA each year, it would look like my family could afford a lot more than the reality of the situation.
Even if your family technically makes too much money, there are still two sources of federal financial aid that can be used toward your education: the unsubsidized Stafford loan and the Parent PLUS loan. If you have not read my blogs on federal Stafford loans or Parent PLUS loans, I recommend doing so because they contain a lot of useful information about the interest rates and other considerations.
In addition, I recommend pursuing scholarships and grants. StudentScholarshipSearch.com and ScholarshipPoints.com are excellent resources to find money for school that do not need to be paid back. Further, most of the scholarships are need-blind, meaning you don’t have to demonstrate financial need to qualify for them. After these methods, if you still have costs left over that need to be covered, you should consider a private student loan.
If you are in the situation of worrying about how to pay for school because of parental income throwing off your FAFSA, don’t stress yourself out too much. As listed above, there are a lot of different sources of funding for your education. I went through all four years of college working part-time and diligently planning out my financial aid to make sure I would be able to cover everything; it’s not easy, but getting financial aid “without need” is entirely doable.
ScholarshipPoints Redemption Code: NEEDAID2010
Image Credit to lovesteph83 on Flickr
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