Consider what is most important to you when a school when you narrow down your options. Eliminate schools from your list that are unrealistic, not in your desired location, do not offer you field of study, and lack the campus lifestyle you want. Remember to apply to schools for what they offer, not what they lack. Once you have been accepted to schools, compare their financial aid packages and factor cost into your decision. Decide how many student loans you are willing to take out for school. If you think your dream school is worth the financial stretch, apply for scholarships and grants to reduce the cost as much as possible.
Every high school senior has a dream school. Always apply to more than one school. Apply to that dream school, but have a list of backup schools. Look into schools that are in your dream location, but are less competitive and more affordable. Also look for schools that offer a wide range of programs so you can enter as undecided, and change your major easily in the future. Remember, during your college search, put reputations aside, and prioritize your list on your criteria, not based on your peers’.
If you're concerned about student debt, consider community college. Starting at 2 year school and transferring credits will save money and lower student loan debt. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, enrollment at community college has increased by 25%. Many students enrolled in community college are returning students looking to improve their skills or pick up a new, more marketable trade. If you plan to attend community college to complete your general education requirements, confirm with your college that the credits are acceptable. If community college is not for you, look at state schools to lower your cost of education. You will still get the full college experience at half the cost of a private institution. Staying in state will also make you eligible for state scholarships. Choosing the right school is difficult, but with research you will find the perfect school at the right price.
Latest College & Financial Aid News
October 8, 2021
FAFSA is an acronym. It stands for "Free Application for Federal Student Aid". Please take note that the first word in the acronym is "Free". You do not need to pay to fill out the FAFSA but there are certainly websites out there that will charge you for their assistance. If you are asked for a credit card at any point in the process, you are at one of these sites. If you do not want to pay to complete the FAFSA, be sure to apply at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. The FAFSA must be completed by you and your family each year if you wish to be considered for need-based grants from the college or university you are or will be attending as well as subsidized student loans. [...]
August 31, 2021
A study abroad program can be the beginning of the most exciting chapter of your college experience. Often, the travel, housing, credits and even food are included in the price of the program you choose. However, this is no reason not to look for more financial opportunities! [...]
August 19, 2021
As you get ready for this next big step in your life, this last year at home can feel like the longest and the shortest you ever had! While you prepare to select a college and research scholarships and financial aid, don’t forget to spend some quality time with your friends and family. While movies, even when based on a true story, are always a little bit fantastic, they are also works of art that share experiences among their viewers. [...]