Paying for College
As fall is upon us many of our seniors have filled out college applications, written college entrance essays, and requested all their transcripts. Just when it seems like it should be a time for taking a breath, many are starting to think about the realities of going to college. College is expensive, and now as many will start hearing in the next few months where they have been accepted, the reality of how am I going to pay for this is setting in.
Each year a few of the counselors attend a workshop to get up-to-date information on Financial Aid in Michigan. I have included some essential information we received from this workshop for students as they begin to think about paying for college.
- Everyone should fill out the FAFSA. Even if you don’t think you will qualify for financial aid, most colleges require the FAFSA for students when awarding scholarships.
- There are different types of financial aid.
o Scholarships –a financial award based on academic merit (many of these are awarded to students automatically when they apply to a college) or some other criteria the scholarship sponsor has set forth.
§ There are a number of scholarships to apply for including local scholarships and private scholarships.
§ Our local scholarship information becomes available in December, be sure to check your school email for dates and deadlines in regard to these scholarships.
§ There are a number of reliable scholarship websites out there, but some are scams. Keep in mind if they are asking you for money it is most likely a scam. I have included some reliable scholarship websites below.
§ These are also financial awards often given by a school or the government for students who show financial need.
§ A school loan is given by the government to help a student pay for school, but students will need to pay back the loan after graduation. There are different types of loans, so be sure to understand the type of loan you are accepting.
§ Students can take all of a loan or part of a loan; it is wise to only take as much as you need.
· Save the Date
o December 20th is the date Local Scholarship information will become available
o January 1st is when students can begin to fill out the FAFSA
o January 21st is our school’s Financial Aid night, a valuable information session for students and parents to learn more about financial aid and to ask questions of a financial aid expert.