5 Common Financial Aid Mistakes to Avoid

Financial Aid - dollar signCollege is a terribly important time in a lot of individuals’ lives. After you finish high school, you’ve got a lot to think about in terms of your higher education. A lot of the time, the work you do in college will be important to you for the rest of your life, as it winds up determining your career. It’s nice that you’ll get to study the subjects that interest you the most, but this comes at something of a high cost. A very high cost, as college is incredibly expensive these days, and it’s not uncommon for families to need a little bit of help when it comes to things such as tuition. Whether you’re putting yourself through college or have family members that are willing to pay for you, many students wind up enlisting the help of financial aid to put themselves through school. Whether it comes from the government, the university, or another source, there is a ton of financial aid out there for those who are able to look hard enough for it. Many students need financial aid, and it’s not at all impossible to get. When you’re trying to find it, though, you want to make sure you do everything right. If you can avoid the following mistakes, you’ll have an easy time securing the financial aid that you need.

1. Not Filing on Time. There are a ton of deadlines when you’re doing things like filing for financial aid. In fact, just about everything you’re going to have to do in college is going to come with a huge deadline, so this is something you will have to get used to. Financial aid applications, however, can take some time to put together. You’re going to have to get a lot of information in order to complete your application, so you want to give yourself plenty of time. If you miss the deadline, you might find yourself seriously out of luck when it comes to this semester’s financial aid.

2. Forgetting Your FAFSA. If you’re brand new to the world of financial aid, you might not have heard of something called the FAFSA. It’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it’s a document that will be important no matter how you’re trying to get your financial assistance. The only way you can really forget to fill out your FAFSA is if you wait until the very last minute and don’t speak to any counselors before trying to apply for financial aid. Otherwise, you’ll likely be instructed to do this. Just make sure you get it done, because you can’t get a lot of financial aid without having filled out your FAFSA.

3. Not Looking Around for Scholarships. Don’t forget to scour the Internet for grants and scholarships. These are loans that you don’t have to pay back, and that’s the best kind of financial aid available. If you can search enough online, you’ll be able to find something that applies to you and your specific talents or areas of expertise. There are more scholarships and grants than you could hope to imagine, so if you look hard enough, you can almost definitely find something that relates to you.

4. Paying for Things That Are Free. You should never be asked to pay for something during the financial aid application process. Almost every part of this process is free, so if anybody asks you for some money, it’s more than likely that you’re being ripped off. Keep on the lookout for things like this, even if you’re wanting that financial aid so you can attend Norwich University. You can definitely find it, but it’s not going to cost you anything to do so.

5. Not Living Frugally. Once you do secure your financial aid, you’ve still got to live very frugally. You might very well be able to put yourself through college, but you’re going to have to make sure that you still budget your money and don’t live beyond your means. This way, you’ll be able to make the most of your financial aid and have a stress-free college experience.