Not long ago I wrote about financial aid and the importance of filing early. I just got some information this morning from Christopher Penn of The Student Loan Network that I think is important to pass along to you. Christopher was recently featured as an expert on CNBC’s On the Money, and he gives great advice in the segment regarding financial aid, change in financial circumstance, and scholarships.
More people are in need of financial aid in today’s rough economy. In turn, due to the financial times, student aid packages are decreasing. Penn notes that one institution dispensed all of its scholarship resources in the first eleven days of the year. This was unheard of in the past, but is a reality today.
Available Sources of Financial Aid
Penn says that not all aid has dried up. federal student loans are still available. But you need to fill out the F AFSA, and you need to fill it out early. Get help with this by listening to Penn’s webcast on February 19th. He also stresses the need to apply for scholarships. Visit StudentScholarshipSearch.com and FastWeb to start your search. Also, use the power of Google. According to Penn, it’s a great way to find scholarships tailored to you r needs. Take advantage of Penn’s free scholarship guide for insider information on your scholarship search.
If Your Family’s Income Has Changed
Be sure to watch the MSNBC segment if your family’s financial circumstances have changed to due a lay off, loss of job, or even decrease in household income. There are steps you can take to have your financial aid needs reevaluated. I did this as a graduate student. If I hadn’t, I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to finish my degree.
There are sources for financial aid available. You’ll have to do your research. It’s worth it. Even if your hope was to avoid student loans, you may want to reconsider. A college degree is likely to lead to increased income, and getting a college degree leads to so much more than obtaining a good job. You’ll learn so much about yourself and ways to navigate your world. Obtaining student loans can help you to reach your ultimate goal and may well be worth it in the end. Speak with your school’s financial aid office for more details.