Coronavirus and College - 4 Tips to Help Close the Funding Gap
1. Appeal for More Financial Aid:
High school seniors and current college students completed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) this fall, before the effects of Covid-19 had started. Now, many of those families are facing financial circumstances that are likely much different than they were then. In cases where a parent or student loses employment, is furloughed or becomes ill and unable to work as a result, financial aid officers have the ability to adjust, and increase, a student’s aid.
If your family’s financial situation changes, consider contacting your college’s financial aid office immediately to appeal for more financial aid. If you want help with this process, schedule a call with us.
2. Apply for Additional Scholarships:
Even though it’s later in the scholarship cycle, there are still scholarship dollars yet to be given out. If you're looking to close the funding gap, a good place to start is by taking a look at local organizations or groups you are a member of (e.g. church, high school guidance dept, Rotary, etc.). Make sure to also check out national scholarship databases like fastweb.com and cappex.com for additional scholarship opportunities.
3. Consider Other College Choices:
Students should think about where they’ll be attending now given their families’ financial situation. Choosing less costly options like public colleges and community colleges close to home might be ways to ensure affordability. Another option is to take some courses at a local community college while still being enrolled at a four-year institution to reduce your costs while still earning a degree from a four-year institution.
4. Don't lose focus on your AP and College Placement Exams:
For students that are taking AP courses, many colleges will grant college credit if you receive a particular score, so it's critical to perform well on those exams. In addition, most colleges have entering freshmen take placement exams in subjects like math and foreign language. Performing well on these can place a student into a higher level course, saving the student money by requiring fewer credits to graduate.
Mike Bink, AAMS®, CCFS®
Mike works with families to simplify the college funding process and is widely recognized as an expert in college planning. He is passionate about empowering families to become informed consumers of higher education so that they don't pay a penny more for college than they absolutely have to.