Financial Aid Tips for Savvy College Students
This is a guest blog from Alexis, a student who is a Sports Studies major at St. Bonaventure University. If you would like to guest blog for Intern Queen, please comment below! We want to thank our rockstar ambassador, Ariam, from Stony Brook for coordinating!
1)Ask for MONEY
Many college students are afraid to ask for what they want. The biggest thing someone could ever say to you is no. Each year at my university I ask the employees in the financial aid office if there are any new scholarships available. I also try to appeal my financial aid letter during the summer before the beginning of new school year. If the university values your “financial dollars,” or revenue coming in they will try and find money available for you. For instance in-coming freshman who decide they are going to opt out of their financial aid acceptance letters, universities can use that money to better help students in financial need who are already enrolled at the university.
2)Take summer classes
By taking summer classes at your local community college students can save thousands of dollars. During summer sessions at a community college financial aid is normally not available; therefore, the student would be paying out of pocket costs, but the short term investment definitely out ways the long term investment. By taking a full year (16 credits) worth of credits over the past two summers have saved over a year worth of loans plus interest and out of pocket costs that would have totaled over $18,000 dollars for my senior year of college.
3)Budget wisely and get an on-campus job
College for most students is the first opportunity where freedom is gained and responsibility is right around the corner. This is the perfect time to grasp both concepts. Budgeting wisely is a must. By being responsible for your everyday life and activities will be a benefit for when school is over and you actually have to pay your own bills. Getting a job on-campus allows for a student to make extra spending money which is money given to that particular individual from the federal government based on their financial need i.e. fafsa. Also, a positive of having a job on campus is that your employer knows that your number one priority is school and when you need time off to study for a test or a final they will be more lenient than that of an off-campus employer. P.s. another benefit of having an on campus job is that it is a great resume booster as well as a great reference during job searches from a previous employer once your college years are deplete.
4)Graduate a year early
To some this concept seems strange but to me it is a financial stress relief. Yes, you are somewhat rushing the college experience, but at the same time you have to grow up eventually. This is where short term disadvantages (summer school and out-of-pocket costs) out way long term disadvantages (loans, debt, and another year not making salary pay).
5)Graduate School Opportunities
Ways in which a student can have their graduate school tuition paid by a university is through working for a university or grad assistantships. Many schools offer graduate assistant programs throughout the different departments on college campuses. Some graduate assistantships are completely paid for and others are partial scholarships and tuition reimbursements. Ways in which to look for available grad assistantships are through search engines such as http://www.indeed.com and if you’re interested in sports http://www.ncaa.com/jobpostings. Working for a university is another way in which someone can get their schooling paid for as well. A lot of universities have it where if you work for their organization or program for a year or so they will cover your tuition costs for higher education. This allows a student to 1) get their tuition covered and 2) still be a paid employee making a stable income.