5 Important Reasons to Apply for Financial Aid
Every college-aspiring student should apply for financial aid – even those from families with higher incomes. Financial aid can provide valuable support to many students, and there are several reasons why all families should consider applying for financial aid. Here are five important reasons to apply:
1. You Might Qualify for Financial Aid:
Many families assume they won’t qualify for need-based financial aid because of their income and assets, but they might be surprised. Filling out the FAFSA and the CSS Profile can reveal financial aid, grants, and tax credits that they may be eligible for. Grants and scholarships are options that don’t have to be repaid, which can reduce the financial burden of paying for college. The potential savings makes it worth the effort to complete the financial aid applications.
2. Access to Government Student Loans:
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) ensures that students are eligible for federal student loans. Student loans are helpful for filling in financial gaps and supplying funds to cover educational expenses. While taking on student loan debt is a big concern financially, having the option to use student loans can provide flexibility and extra support for students and their families when they are planning how to pay for college.
3. Ensure Financial Aid Eligibility for Future Changes:
Financial circumstances can change, and having already applied for financial aid makes it easier to qualify for need-based aid, especially if there’s a significant shift in your family’s financial situation. If your family experiences a major financial change, such as significant medical expenses or unemployment, you can provide the details in writing to the financial aid office at the school and they can help you with the process.
4. Be Prepared to Appeal:
Filing for financial aid shows colleges that you are concerned about the cost of an education and that you’re looking to save money. If the financial aid offered to your student doesn’t meet your expectations, they can write an appeal letter. Reaching out to the college’s financial aid office to ask about their appeal process is important. Make sure to follow up with a detailed financial aid appeal letter with supporting documentation. Appealing can potentially lead to better financial aid packages, making it more affordable for your student to attend their preferred college.
5. Tuition Discounts:
Many colleges will offer tuition discounts to attract high-achieving students, including those from well-off families. Students from wealthy families should still apply for financial aid, as many affluent families make contributions to endowment funds and booster programs, which makes them valuable to colleges. Colleges want to attract and keep top tier students and may do so by offering tuition discounts, scholarships, or other incentives.
It’s important to remember that colleges use financial aid to help make education accessible to students from a wide range of financial backgrounds. Applying for financial aid is a strategic move that can open opportunities and reduce the overall cost of a college education for students and their families. So, even if you believe you don’t qualify for need-based aid, it’s worth exploring your options to see what financial assistance you might be eligible for.
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At Westface College Planning we are here to support you and your student with preparing for college! Sign up for a complimentary consultation today to find out how we can help with filing your financial aid applications.
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