How do I afford college?

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Answered by: Jill, An Expert in the Financial Assistance Category
It is enticing for moms and dads whose savings and net income have been exhausted by the economical downswing to say to their teenagers: "We want you to be successful and attend college; however we don't have the money to ante up for college expenses right now. You'll have to figure it out on your own."

The direct cash savings of putting the responsibility of how to pay for college for your children are surely alluring. However the long-run affect upon college bound youngsters could be destructive, a recently published study alleges. Public Agenda reviewed hundreds of pupils, new grads, and dropouts. They determined that 63 percent of those who graduated from college said they accepted some fiscal assistance from their family. Only 42 percent of those whose moms and dads didn't assist made do to figure out how to afford college.

Make certain you've filed every essential assistance application program. Always complete the FAFSA first. If your college is among the 300 or so that likewise demands the College Board's CSS/Financial Aid Profile, fill that out too. Once you have filed the assistance applications, go over them to be sure they precisely present last year's monetary resources.

Check out your college's financial aid Web page to learn the various ways of affording college. Many have directions or forms for registering appeals if your child was turned down or wasn't granted enough money. It's best to call the chosen college's financial aid office and make an appointment to talk to a financial aid officer. They are always on top of the latest information and opportunities. They are motivated to help because your child’s financial assistance means money for them also.

Though the economy is tight and causing many folks headaches to find ways about how to pay for college for their children, it can be done. Do your homework, keep a notebook about your findings, and do not give up.

Post a letter to your college's fiscal assistance business office requesting a "professional assessment" follow-up of your award. Establish specified factors why you require additional assistance. "Give actual numbers. Don't just say, 'My medical expenses are high,' “says Patricia Williams, director of financial aid at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md. "Detail what the medical costs are, how much insurance paid, and how much you paid and still owe. We work with formulas that require real numbers."

Provide documentation for your claims, such as copies of W-2s, tax forms, hospital and medical bills, job layoff information, if you’re having problems keeping your house, and anything else that would explain your situation. The more detailed the request, the more likely you will get more assistance for college expenses.

There are many opportunities to learn about affording college. It will take time and patience as you scour the Internet for national, state and local grants, loans, and scholarships that are available. Many corporations and private institutions have ways to pay college expenses for minorities, the disabled, the underprivileged, and special needs people who wish to attend college.

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