Article Archives | My College Corner
Skip to content

Category: Article

Article

3 Tips for Smart Student Loan Borrowing

Dec 05, 2019

When it comes to paying for college, the process can seem overwhelming. There are so many financing options out there and you might be feeling lost about how to choose the correct ones for your family. The key is to equip yourself with information so that you can have the knowledge you need to make an informed decision, especially if taking out a student loan.


When you buy expensive things -- a TV, a car, a house --, you most likely take more and more time to carefully consider the risks, rewards, and probable outcomes associated with the purchase as the price increases. No one wants to waste hard-earned money. In addition to knowing the purchase price, you will likely have a good handle on the ultimate cost, including after-purchase expenses such as maintenance and insurance. This is true for nearly all consumer transactions -- except for purchasing an education.




That sounds odd, doesn’t it, “to win the financial aid game.”  You don’t have to stretch very far to see that the financial aid process has characteristics of a game: there is a rulebook, a referee (the U.S. Department of Education), a defined time period and rewards at the end for the winners.  Unfortunately, as we’ve recently learned, there are cheaters too.


On October 1, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”) will be available. High school seniors and college students continuing into Academic Year 2020-21 will need to file a new form to be eligible for aid in the 2020-21 Academic Year. FASFA allows students to participate in federal student aid programs, including the Direct Student Loan Program, the Pell Grant Program, Work-Study, and other federal aid programs. Without filing, students will not be eligible for these programs. 





Paying for college can be one of the most stressful parts of the college experience.  It’s essential to know all of the options to chip away at a big bill.  Financial Aid Award letters include grants and scholarships (free money with few strings attached), loans (need to be repaid) and earned-aid (usually work-study) – a guaranteed part-time job.  Part-time jobs, either under the work-study program or not, offer valuable opportunities for students to earn money, reduce debt, and gain valuable experience.