What Do Colleges Consider When Deciding Financial Aid Award For Students?

Financial aid awards have many factors that come into play at various colleges when determining how much a student will receive.

First, what is the true need of the student based on the formula(s)? There are one or two of three formulas that will come into play. You have the Federal Methodology, Institutional Methodology, and The Consensus Methodology that will determine the true need based on the information provided on the FAFSA, CSS Profile, and or the college’s own institutional form.

Second you have the academic side. Colleges will offer scholarships based on a GPA and or the ACT and SAT results. In addition, because the admission game has changed over the years, if a college appreciates the student’s abilities, talents, and background, they will be desirous for that student to be a part of their incoming freshman class and therefor will offer more gift-aid.

Then you have the leverage component. If a student was offered a magnanimous award from another school other than their first choice, they may have the opportunity (if done right) to negotiate for a better award.

If you would like more information on how to retain a better financial aid package, please contact one of our experts.

Tips For Students On How To Pay For College

Through the years we have seen a number of things students can do to lower their out of pocket cost for their education. First students should always walk into the financial aid office the first day they are on campus and ask if there are any “in house” scholarships they can apply for. Many times there are and students are not aware that they exist.

Other tips include: pursue outside scholarships keeping in mind that they should never pay for a scholarship service. Set up a 529 plan. Whenever possible purchase used textbooks and sell them when they are finished with them. Utilize work study on campus whenever possible. Keep credit card debt at a minimum and always pay it down on time. Choose the right meal plan. Set up a student checking account. Most of them are free. Keep organized regarding their spending habits. Get the right cell phone plan. Utilize alternative transportation. Consider being a resident advisor. Many colleges will offer free or reduce room and board.

If possible, retain a trained expert in the financial aid process. These people can save families thousands of dollars in their 4 year education. Contact us if you would like to learn more.

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