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Experts Offer Financial Help to College Students

[Jul 13, 2007.]


Now that summer's here, high school students may have some extra time on their hands. And financial experts note that this may be the perfect time for students thinking about college to plan out their financial strategies.

Given the high cost of a college education in the 21 st century, students would be wise to start planning early. And they'll want to avoid some of the common mistakes students make with regard to financial aid.

Experts say that, in 2007, the biggest mistake a student can make is not to apply for financial aid, period. Students may be surprised to learn that they qualify for aid, even though their parents may make a comfortable living. Another important tip—apply early. Given the competition for available funds, it's critical that students apply as early as they can in order to access available money.

Yet another mistake that many students are making is to fail to apply for scholarships and grants. Such free money is allocated based on scholarship, athletic achievement, community service, extra-curricular activities, and a whole host of other factors.

In addition, students need to do their homework when applying for loans. They need to realize that terms can vary from loan to loan—and that might affect how easy it will be for the student to repay the loan.

Current figures regarding financial aid can hold an important lesson for students. The American Council on Education estimates that 1.8 million low- and moderate-income families failed to obtain federal aid because they neglected to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The application is needed for applying for not only federal aid, but state and institutional aid as well. Also, an estimated 1.5 million families eligible for the Pell Grant failed to get it because they did not complete the necessary forms.

Julie Ann Amos
July 13th 2007

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