Higher education is a goal for many people. However, it’s not always the classes and tests that overwhelm potential students—it’s the cost. Getting an education beyond a high school diploma is likely to be expensive. And while figuring out how to pay for school and take out student loans is a scary process, there is a way to explore student financial aid options without getting in over your head.
Here are seven tips that will guide you through the process of taking control of your student financial aid:
1) Compare Different Options
There are several types of student financial aid available. You should carefully review the terms and conditions of each financial aid opportunity and apply for those that will fit your needs best.
You don’t necessarily need to limit yourself to loans, either. Many schools, including Daymar College, also offer grants and scholarships for eligible students.
2) Start Your Student Financial Aid Research Early
This ensures that you will be aware of financial aid program and scholarship deadlines, allowing you to apply on time. Scholarships and financial aid programs have strict deadlines, and missing them means missing out on financial support.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school. In addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA data to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid. If you don’t fill out the FAFSA, you could be missing out on a lot of financial aid!
FAFSA deadlines vary depending on the student financial aid program you are applying for, which is stated on the website. For additional FAFSA support, the website offers answers to common questions on the help page.
3) Reach Out to the Financial Departments of Colleges
Find out what kind of support you can expect from a potential school. You may be able to receive more financial help than you thought you could! Financial aid opportunities vary based on school resources and size, so it may be beneficial to make student financial aid a factor worth considering when applying to schools.
A school’s financial aid department is a great first place to check out when deciding how to make the best decision for your unique financial situation.
At Daymar, financial help is available to qualifying students. We offer several options to our students, and can meet with you in a one-on-one consultation to find the best financial aid for your needs. We want to fully support our students and want to help you avoid going through the process of requesting financial aid on your own.
4) Determine Which Loans Will Work Best for You
Even though scholarships are the ideal option, students may request a loan if scholarships are limited.
There are two types of loans: federal and private. Federal student loans often provide the best interest rates on loans available to students, and there are several other advantages to federal student loans. They have a low, fixed interest rate and have extremely flexible repayment plans. Payments usually start 180 days after graduation and the payment schedule is determined according to the budget of the student.
5) Apply for Every Scholarship and/or Financial Aid Benefit You Are Eligible For
Scholarships are competitive and the more you apply for, the higher the chances of receiving one. You can also apply for smaller, local scholarships because even though the scholarship amount may be smaller, multiple scholarships compiled together can become a substantial contribution to education costs.
Are you in the military? That can be a great source for funding your college education. Daymar offers military benefits for those who are serving on active duty, or in one of the reserve or National Guard components. We also participate in individual benefits and opportunities available through the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
In addition, look for specific grants or scholarships colleges might offer for specific program. For a limited time, Daymar is offering a $4,250 grant for students who enroll in the Medical Massage Therapy program at our Nashville location.
Check out Daymar’s website to see if you are eligible to apply to any of the various scholarships we offer.
6) Take Out the Right Loan Amount
You may be approved for a higher loan amount than is necessary to pay your school expenses. Your school’s website can help you determine the cost for your specific program, and then consider taking out a loan that matches your estimated total. This may reduce the financial burden on you after graduation and make the repayment process more manageable.
7) Use a Loan Repayment Calculator
If you decide to take out loans, you most likely want to know what those payments will look like once you have finished your program. There are loan repayment calculators that factor in interest and repayment options based on your income, so you will not be surprised when your first loan payment comes around.
Don’t let the word “tuition” get in the way of enrolling in an education program that could lead to a better future for you. With some of these tips, you can have the student financial aid you need to put you in a manageable financial situation down the road!