There are many myths out there about paying for school with financial aid that can make students and parents alike nervous. Like urban legends, many student loan myths are false, but they get passed around enough, that people start to believe them. However, like the old saying goes, you should not believe everything that you hear! Read on as EdFed sets the record straight on five commonly-heard financial aid myths!
Myth #1 — I won't receive any financial aid because my parents make too much money to qualify.
Truth: There are many variables that factor into whether someone qualifies for financial aid such as family size, etc. Even if your parents are rolling in the dough, you can still qualify for unsubsidized Stafford Loans and PLUS Loans that are not need-based loans. Never assume you will not qualify for some type of aid!
Myth#2 — Applying for federal financial aid is way too complicated to be worth it.
Truth: To qualify for most federal financial aid, the only step required is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid a.k.a the FAFSA. (Some schools require just a little more documentation with the FAFSA such as institutional financial aid forms. Because some schools vary in their requirements, it is best to check with your school's financial aid officer.) Filling out the FAFSA is relatively easy, especially if you complete it online at www.fafsa.ed.gov . There, you can also find the answers to all of your questions. The only difficult thing about completing the FAFSA is gathering all of the information that is required. Even so, taking a few hours to complete this document is well worth the hundreds or thousands that you can receive as a result.
Myth #3 — I will not qualify for any financial aid because I'm not a 4.0 student.
Truth: Many schools and organizations do indeed offer merit-based scholarships for those who excel academically. However, most financial aid available comes from the federal government, and the majority of that is need-based, meaning that it is intended for students with financial need alone. Examples of need-based financial aid include grants, work-study and student loans.
In regards to scholarships, many organizations and schools offer them to students who are active in leadership positions, or in the community. Many are given to students who have overcome challenges in their lives. Some are based on your heritage, or talents. And finally, some are even given for insignificant reasons like being a blonde, being left-handed, or learning how to duck-call! Do not discount scholarships or any federal financial aid because you are not a 4.0 student!
Myth #4 — I hope to get a lot of funding from scholarships, so I do not need to worry about federal financial aid.
Truth: Even if you receive a full-tuition scholarship, or the equivalent in other scholarships, there are always additional costs involved with attending school such as lab or other school fees; room and board; books and supplies; computers, and more!
The best route to take is to apply for federal financial aid. This way you can ensure that your expenses are covered and should by some miraculous reason, you have more money than you need for school due to scholarships you can decline your federal financial aid.
Myth #5 — Consolidating Your Federal Student Loans Doesn't Save You that Much Money.
Truth: Overall, consolidating with any lender will save you some money. But, when you consolidate your federal student loans with EdFed, you can actually save thousands of dollars over the life of your loans! This is because when you consolidate with EdFed, your variable student loans are locked in with one, low interest rate. This will protect you from paying extra interest on fluctuating variable loans that are adjusted by the government annually. Also, EdFed saves our borrowers even more off of their already-low interest rates by offering interest rate reductions. Borrowers can qualify for up to 1.25% in interest rate reductions!
For more information on federal or private student loans, read more of EdFed's informative articles.
Article Title : The Dispelling Federal Aid Myths
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