Finding fi nancial support for college tuition
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BRONX TIMES REPORTER,12 FEBRUARY 21-27, 2020 BTR
BY ALEX MITCHELL
It’s no secret that college can
be one of the most fi nancially
challenging and trying expenses
that both students and
families alike endure through
for some years.
While it may not be an ‘ace
in the hole’ towards tuition
bills, there are ways to make
the most of fi nancial aid and
other money saving methods
for college tuition.
First on the list for fi nancial
aid options is going to Uncle
Sam by fi ling the Free Application
for Federal Student Aid
This determines what government
tuition assistance you
qualify for when it comes to
paying the bills. After getting
an accurate number of what
aid you’ll be getting off the bat,
then it’s time to get resourceful
on how to manage collegiate expenses.
While FAFSA applications
are viewed at a federal level,
most correspondence will
come directly from the student’s
school of choice.
The next step to offsetting
tuition costs is fi nding private
sources of funding, the most
common forms of these are
scholarships and grants.
While many scholarships
are merit based with schools,
it never hurts to sit down and
attempt to negotiate a deal —
especially if you can show a
competing offer that you wish
to be matched by your college
Also, many companies and
businesses offer scholarships
that simply require a written
essay or involvement in a
program or project. In other
words, being active in your
community could be one of the
most resourceful means to help
pay off college.
Grants are another way to
help take away from the burden
of tuition. These come in
the form of need based aid and
which do not have to be repaid
as a post-grad loan. There’s a
plethora of state and federal
grants to look into that could
make a difference in costs,
even if it just buys a semester’s
worth of books, it adds up.
Work-study programs are
another viable option that could
make a difference. The federal
one offers part-time employment
openings, usually close to
the student’s fi eld of study that
goes towards tuition bills.
After all of that is said and
done then next comes applying
for loans to cover the rest of tuition’s
cost. If you’re able to compile
a decent amount of grant,
aid, and scholarship money
prior to applying to loans, then
it does become more manageable
— even if it’s piece by piece
it certainly does add up.
Experts advise to not exclusively
base college choices off
costs. If the school and the program
is right, then ideally you
will be able to cover the bills following
your years there. While
that’s not always the case,
studying hard and doing your
research on offsetting costs always
helps in the meantime.