Home > Resources > Parents Practical Guide To College > Parents Guide To College Financial Aid

Parents’ Guide to College Financial Aid

So how will you afford four (or more) years of higher education? Ever heard of FAFSA? If not, consider this your formal introduction because you two are going to become quite close over the course of your child’s matriculation. The FAFSA, which stands for the Free Application for Student Aid, must be completed each year your child is in college and determines exactly how much money you are eligible to receive through federal assistance programs and grants, how much you can borrow through federal loans and how much you may need to secure through private lending agencies annually.

We’re not going to lie to you, the FAFSA can be a little intimidating for those filling it out for the first time but it will give you the best overall understanding of what you’ll receive from Uncle Sam and what you’ll have to dig out of your own pockets. Here’s a closer look. If the numbers don’t crunch the way you anticipated they would, don’t forget about grants and scholarships – there are literally thousands of them that your child could win for being a good student, community leader or left-handed vegetarian. (Yes, we said left-handed vegetarian. And we were serious.)

Loans vs. Grants vs. Scholarships

Your parents probably stressed the value of a dollar to you on a daily basis and while it may have seemed like overkill then, you probably thank them every day for the constant reminder. Not only have you used that advice to pad your own accounts but have no doubt put some money aside for your child’s education; unless you are extremely well off or have recently won the lottery, however, these savings won’t go very far when you factor in tuition, room and board and other educational expenses. Simply put, you’re going to need some help in the finance department and loans, grants and scholarships will help you through…but what option is best?

A “Good Deal” Goes Beyond the Numbers

What constitutes a “good deal” in terms of education? Sure, the cost will play a factor but that’s not the only issue to consider. Does the college offer your child’s intended major? Where did the faculty graduate from? Are the residence halls up to par? Is the food edible? These are all questions you and your child should answer before committing to attend a college. How? Do your research.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

#SocialMediaMajor? - PA School to Begin Offering a Major in Social Media

July 18, 2017

by Susan Dutca

What if your college course load included "Instagram 101" or "History of Facebook 202"? Have you ever wanted to major in social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Well, you can this upcoming fall if you are a student at Kutztown University, pursuing a bachelor's degree in Social Media Theory and Strategy.

[...]

Chicago Schools: "No Plan, No Diploma"

July 11, 2017

by Susan Dutca

It's senior year of high school and you're just about ready to graduate and move on to the next chapter in your life. Have you been accepted to college, enrolled in the military or a trade school, planned a "gap-year" or secured a job? If not, you may not be eligible to receive your diploma. Starting in 2020, Chicago high school seniors will have to demonstrate any one of the above in order to graduate. [...]

CSU to Admit All Qualified Students

July 3, 2017

by Susan Dutca

Due to a new budget deal, all qualified students will soon be admitted into one of the 23 campuses at California State University. With some of the more competitive schools only accepting 30-34 percent of its applicants, qualified students have been historically denied because campuses were too full. While the initiative gives students more access to higher education, there is a catch. [...]

Follow Us:

facebook twitter rss feed