The financial aid application process is not easy to navigate, even for seasoned counselors, and constantly undergoes changes that further complicates it. Come financial aid application time, many students are confused and concerned with the basics, much less how much funding they can receive. Students should know they have options when it comes to finding the funding they need to pay for college and shouldn’t rely on one source of funding when applying for financial aid.
We have prepared a number of resources to help guide students through the financial aid process, as it will be simpler with more resources readily available. Browse through our site to find tips and financial aid information for educators and how to introduce students to financial aid. Debunk any and all myths that paying for college is out of students’ reach.
Finding ways for students to pay for college can become overwhelming, as there are many options out there – from federal funding options to what a student’s college can offer to the less traditional avenues of outside funding sources and balancing a job and academics. An important part of a counselor’s job is helping students understand their options. Rather than focusing on one source of funding over another, students should be exposed to various types of funding. Students worried about their parents’ low income will probably qualify for a number of federal grants. Students worried about their less-than-stellar academic record when it comes to landing a college scholarship should know there are scholarships that do not look at grades, GPA and standardized test scores. Finding college funding is important, but it’s also important that students know the available choices - ones that cater to them individually.
Federal aid will always be an importance piece of a student’s financial aid package and applications may be intimidating for students who aren’t familiar with applications that require things such as their parents’ income and savings. For those students – or parents who need help completing their first Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, high school counselors and/or intended college’s financial aid officers will serve excellent resources. It is crucial to fill out FAFSA applications as soon as it is available (January 1st of each year) and following the directions carefully so that there won’t be any delays in the application process. Many colleges dole out federal funding on a first-come, first-serve basis until it’s gone. As funding levels may change annually, it’s important for students to be aware of the deadlines.
While the ideal financial aid package would include no student loans, the reality is that most college students will need to take out some student loans to complete their college degrees. An important task for counselors and educators is making sure students understand that they should strive to reduce debt as much as possible when leaving their respective colleges, and to propose ways in preventing debt burden from escalating. Educating students about the different loans available and the most desirable loan options available will go a long way in helping students make smart decisions in funding their future.
Latest College & Financial Aid News
June 18, 2019
Harvard revoked more admissions offers - this time involving 10 students who participated in a Facebook group called "Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens." Jokes about abusing children and the Holocaust and insulting comments about different racial and ethnic groups were found in the group, according to Inside Higher Ed.
Earlier this month, Harvard also rescinded an admission offer to Kyle Kashuv who, when he was 16 years old, used inflammatory and racist language, including the N-word, right before the Parkland shooting at his school, Stoneman Douglas High School. The shootings have since "changed him and made him more mature," he claims. Kashuv became famous for his conservatism, pro-gun and pro-Trump activism which he believes, represent a different view on how to prevent future, like tragedies.
In a recent Twitter post, he apologized for his past comments and stated that, "We were 16-year-olds making idiotic comments, using callous and inflammatory language in an effort to be as extreme and shocking as possible...I'm embarrassed by it, but I want to be clear that the comments I made are not indicative of who I am or who I've become in the years since." Shortly thereafter, Harvard looked into his case and eventually revoked his admissions offer. Though university personnel appreciate his "candor and expressions of regret," Harvard "takes seriously" the "qualities of maturity" and of "character" of the students it admits. Despite appealing the revocation, Kashuv was turned down. In his defense, Kashuv argues that, "throughout its history, Harvard's faculty has included slave owners, segregationists, bigots and anti-Semites. If Harvard is suggesting that growth isn't possible and that our past defines our future, then Harvard is an inherently racist institution. But I don't believe that. I believe that institutions and people can grow. I've said that repeatedly." In your opinion, should Kashuv have had his admissions offer revoked based on something he did when he was 16? Why or why not? [...]
June 11, 2019
A Wiccan Professor at St. Bonaventure sued the university and her alma mater for discrimination, alleging that she was not allowed to advance in her career because she is a woman and a witch. The reported discrimination began around Halloween in 2011, after she was asked to conduct an interview about her Wiccan beliefs with the university's student TV station, SBU-TV. [...]
June 6, 2019
In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month this June, Scholarships.com is recognizing the success of, and providing financial aid resources to the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer community and its allies through featured LGBTQ scholarships. These colorful LGBTQ scholarships are not only intended for those who identify as LBTQ or are questioning, but are available to LGBTQ parents and allies, as well. Below is a preview of LGBTQ scholarships that were created to provide economic mobility and equality for LGBTQ students and allies who may face unique challenges on their educational journeys. For even more LGBTQ scholarships, Parent LGBTQ scholarships or LGBTQ Ally scholarships, visit here. [...]