Attending college is a dream for many people that becomes a privilege for those who can make it happen. With the cost of higher education steadily increasing each year, a huge percentage of students hoping to obtain their degree find that they can’t afford the tuition, let alone all of the fees and supplies. The good news is that there is a lot of financial aid available, such as student loans, to help the vast majority of Americans who need some assistance when it comes to college. Unfortunately, there are still some misconceptions about student loans that make people shy away from them in the first place.
“I am Ineligible for Any Financial Aid”
Some people report that they assume they won’t be eligible for financial aid, so they simply don’t even attempt to get any. On the contrary, just about every student who attends college half-time or more will qualify for some type of financial assistance in the form of student loans. Although there are some types of loans that are only for students who are suffering financial hardships, there are still a lot that most people will qualify for. The best plan of action is to fill out the FAFSA to see what you are eligible for with the Federal government student aid programs.
“My Grades Aren’t High Enough for Student Loans”
While grades might have been an important factor for applying to college, they are not looked at for student loans at all. Federal financial aid programs do not have any initial grade requirements and are available to a majority of students who have been accepted to the school. There is one thing to be aware of, however, and that is that most federal aid programs do require a minimum grade point average to be maintained while you are taking classes to ensure you are making adequate progress towards your educational goals.
“I’m too Old to Qualify for Financial Aid”
Whether you are a traditional student that will be starting college fresh out of high school, or you have taken a less traditional path and have come back to college down the line, you will be equally as eligible for student loans. In fact, you may be eligible for more financial assistance as an adult learner than as a traditional student as you are not under your parents’ income any longer. If you have children that are considered dependents, this may also be calculated into the amount of student loans in which you are qualified.
“My Family Hasn’t Filed Our Taxes Yet”
As you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to determine if you are eligible for federal student loans, many people think that they can’t qualify if their parents have yet to complete their taxes for the year. This is not true. If your parents haven’t completed their taxes yet, you can still complete and submit the FAFSA by estimating the tax information. Once the taxes have officially been filed, you will then go back and modify the information.
As you find yourself debating whether you should try to qualify for student loans, remember all of these common misconceptions. While most people will end up qualifying for some type of financial assistance, it is always best not to assume and to simply contact your school’s financial aid department with any questions or concerns.
Please note, qualifying for private student loans is substantially different from the federal loan qualification process.
By becoming knowledgeable and gaining all the information you can, you will be one step closer to obtaining the best student loan rates you need for your college tuition.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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