January 12, 2015

Comparing College Financial Aid Offers

Seeking financial aid for college education is a common practice. However, most people choose and apply for college financial aides just to get the money, without really weighing or comparing their available options, to get the best deal that is favourable to them. It is not advisable to choose a financial aid without comparing your available choices. Below are some helpful tips on elements to consider before choosing a financial aid:

Analyse each offer

Most students choose a financial aid from how big the total amount is, thereby overlooking certain strings attached to the financial aid. Financial aides come in three ways namely non repayable gift aid, loans and work related awards. In analyzing the financial aid, look out for the amount that comes in form of non repayable gift aid, followed by work related aid.

Outline the total cost for college

When you must have identified the amount of money you will get from non repayable financial aides and work related awards, you have to find out how much money you will have to add to them in order to get through college. This total cost includes money for expenses such as tuition, books, feeding, accommodation, transportation, club fees, departmental fees etc.

Choose the most favourable package

After you must have analysed the free money you will get from both non repayable gift aid and work related awards, you should know the remaining balance of money you will pay by yourself, then you have to choose the most favourable financial aid package that doesn’t require you to add so much to it, from your available options. However, your decision shouldn’t be based on just the cheapest because you could choose the cheapest college financial aid and may not like the school at the end of the day due to its poor standard and would want to transfer to another school. So, your decision should be based on both affordability and reputation of the college.

Get financial back up

When you must have gotten into school and received the financial aid, you have to add the amount you received to what your folks could give you. If your finances are not yet enough, then you have to resort to getting a loan from your school. It is not wise to directly ask your school for money, instead, you should consult your financial aid advisor in school, disclosing why you need additional amount of money. You have to categorically state why you need the money and your reason has to be a good one. If the college financial aid administrator finds your appeal worthy, you will be lucky to get additional aid. However, if your appeal wasn’t approved, you could try to cut down expenses such as moving close to the school, so you won’t have to pay for transportation and out of state tuition fees.

No matter how difficult it might seem to get financial aid, you must always have it in mind that you have options. Never be too desperate to choose a financial plan without comparing your choices because one is always better than the other.

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