Financial aid planning can be intimidating, and you may not know where to turn for answers. The financial aid officers at colleges and universities are there to help. Below is a list of questions that the Associated Colleges of the Midwest suggests families ask:
- What kind of financial assistance does the college offer: need-based, merit-based, or both?
- Can the college provide an early estimate of what our financial aid award might be?
- What forms are needed in order to apply?
- When are financial aid applications due?
- What student costs are taken into account by the financial aid office? Tuition, room, board, transportation? What about additional expenses such as books, fees, computers and personal expenses?
- What’s included in the comprehensive fee? For example, do students have to pay extra for computer time or to attend campus events (concerts, plays, films, lectures, athletic events, etc.)?
- When will we be notified about the amount of assistance we can expect?
- Does the institution have an appeal process to review special circumstances?
- How and when do we apply for financial assistance after the first year?
- What if we do not qualify for need-based aid? Are there alternative financing options available?
- What grants, loans, and work-study opportunities does the college offer? Are there any we might be eligible for?
- What’s the average student loan indebtedness amount for the college’s graduates?
- Is there a restriction to the length of time that financial assistance will continue?
- How long does it typically take a student to graduate from this college? Four years? Longer?
- What impact do scholarships from outside sources have on other financial aid?
- Can we apply financial aid toward an off-campus study program, either in the U.S. or another country?
- What happens if our family’s financial situation changes substantially during the school year?
- Are there payment options available, such as monthly or quarterly?
Source: ACT’s News You Can Use