REASON #1. The government gives out roughly 160 billion dollars in financial aid each year.
If there’s any chance your child may be eligible to receive financial aid, you should strive to get your piece of the pie. On average, the FAFSA takes only 30 minutes to complete and many families who don’t expect to qualify for financial aid, actually do! If you think you’re on the border, it’s well worth your time to apply.
REASON #2. Even high earners may qualify.
Money given isn’t based solely on income. The size of your family is also considered, along with parent age and other details. However, your student’s age age, field of study and grades won’t affect federal financial aid. Keep in mind, if your student doesn’t qualify this year, there’s still hope for next year. Their financial award may be different from year to year due to changes in your family’s finances or the number of family members enrolled in college at the same time.
REASON #3. You may get access to free money.
Last year, 7 million students received the Pell Grant and more than 28 billion dollars were awarded. It is income-based, but many are not. Federal grants also exist for military students, graduate students and aspiring teachers in high-need, low-income areas. Additionally, many colleges and scholarships foundations require middle and upper-middle class students attending expensive schools be awarded scholarships and grants. Some private colleges even award need-based aid to families with incomes over $200,000 per year.
REASON #4. Take out forgivable, low-interest loans.
Federal loans are likely the lowest interest rates you’ll find on student loans. Furthermore, with a Direct Subsidized loan, the federal government actually pays the interest while your student is enrolled at least half-time or in their grace period, making these the most attractive type of student loan possible. If you’d like your student to have some skin in the game, federal loans are an option to consider.