Plan For College

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Financial Aid: True or False? (Part I)

Families with college-bound kids face the tedious task of completing financial aid forms. Some will be come in under the belief that the process is simple and will take under an hour. Others think it’s the most complicated and convoluted task they’ll undertake in years. If you fall into either of those buckets or a third altogether, we want to outline some expectations for students and parents in this blog post. Here’s what you should be aware of when applying for admissions and financial aid:

1. Financial Aid Need Will Deny My Student Admission: True or False?

Many families had been told if they need financial aid that colleges will refrain admitting their student or be wait-listed. In all honesty, this does happen but only in rare cases. Statistically speaking, it’s nothing to worry about at all. As we know, the vast majority of applicants are either accepted or denied admission to a college based on two main criteria. Most colleges will admit or deny admission based on the student’s academic achievement and college test scores. Many colleges will also review the student’s extracurricular credentials as well.

So the answer is false. However, if you want to absolutely ensure your family’s finances will not impact admission, you can look for schools that practice a “need-blind” admission policy.

2. College Financial Isn’t Always Free: True of False?

College financial aid comes in several forms. There are college loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study programs. According to the College Board and the federal financial aid system most college financial aid comes in the form of student loans. How can a student loan be classified as financial aid since these funds must be paid back? (You may ask.)

According to the federal financial aid system, student loans are classified as financial aid because students are not subject to a credit check, income verification, no collateral is required, and in many situations the interest on the loans is subsidized by the federal government. Some student loan interest is not subsidized by the federal government, however, the interest rate on these loans are well below the private lending rates that is established by the private lending market.

So the answer is true. Financial aid comes in many forms, and you should consider all when applying to college. And keep in mind that you may have to pay back many of the financial aid tools available to you.

3. Merit Scholarships Are Only Given To High Academic Students: True or False?

Most merit scholarships are given out to students with high GPAs and ACT/SAT test scores. However, millions of dollars are given out to students that are not high academic achievers. Many colleges use merit scholarships and grants as a recruiting tool to draw students who are most attractive to them for many different reasons - not just academically. Many private colleges will give out college incentive scholarships or grants to admitted students in order to be competitive (cost-wise), with state-supported colleges or universities.

False. Thousands of students each year receive merit scholarships based on athletic or artistic ability, demographic factors, extracurricular projects, and more.

16 comments:

  1. So helpful! I was just talking to my brother about this last week. I was not a beneficiary of any such Financial Planning for College but it makes so much sense to help your kids out if you can I really like your blog
    Keep Posting

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