If you’re an adult who’s considering college, your decision may be more complicated than someone entering from straight out of high school.
You may have kids and other responsibilities that make you wonder how you’ll afford school with so many other expenses putting a burden on your budget.
You may also wonder if you’ll have the same opportunities to get financial aid as students who are younger than you.
To give you some clarity on the matter, we’ll discuss the basics of federal student aid so you can see that advanced education doesn’t have to be such a financial burden.
1. What types of student aid does the government have to offer?
As you begin your search for school funding, you’ll likely come across three main federal student aid categories:
Grants give you money for school that does not have to be paid back, making them a desirable option. Loans, as you may expect, must be paid back. Work-study programs function like jobs where you put in the time and earn money towards your schooling.
2. What can you use student aid for?
Contrary to popular belief, federal student aid isn’t completely restricted towards paying tuition, books, and fees. You can also use the money to pay for transportation, housing, and childcare, plus equipment for school like a computer.
3. Is there a cutoff age to receive student aid from the government?
No, the federal government does not have age limits for its various forms of aid. So, even if you’re going back to college after a 20-year hiatus, there’s no need to worry about that affecting your eligibility.
4. Will the government run a credit check before granting aid?
Credit checks are not involved when applying for student aid since most monetary help for students from the government focuses on financial need.
5. Are there costs associated with applying for federal student aid?
The only cost is time, and you don’t need a lot of it to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). With that form finished, your financial need will be established. This will hopefully open the door to several financial aid opportunities from the government and schools.
6. Are there other ways to reduce the costs of college or career school?
While federal student aid can offer significant help with paying for school, you can make other moves to make your education more affordable.
For instance, you can choose to attend community college for cheaper tuition. You can go to school part-time while you work on the side. You can look for outside help via scholarships from the state, schools, or other organizations. You can also ask your employer if they have a tuition assistance program.
Don’t limit your student aid search to one avenue. As you can see from this article, there are many ways to get the help you need to advance your education. The quicker you fill out your FAFSA and begin to research all of your options, the less stress you’ll have when paying for college.