Going to college is becoming increasingly unaffordable for many American families. According to a report by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, college tuition and fees have stunningly increased nearly 570 percent over the past 30 years. An American family, on average, is expected to pay $9,000 a year for an in-state public college and more than $30,000 for a private college. Obviously, this is a huge difference for a lot of families, who are responding to the price jump by giving up the option of going to private colleges. There has been a substantial decrease in the undergraduate enrollments of private colleges from the year before.

To attract more students and boost revenues, many private colleges are providing more financial aid packages to students, who would not consider going to private colleges otherwise. During the past years, those institutions have realized that, with the current economic situation, some incentives are necessary to fill in those empty seats in the coming semester. Among many of those colleges, the amount of grant and scholarship aid given to new students has reached nearly 40 percent of total tuition, possibly the highest “discount rate.” According to some colleges’ officials, for every dollar of tuition, the schools can only bring in roughly 55 cents after giving financial aid. However, compared to lower revenues, private colleges are more worried about empty seats, resulting in no revenue at all. Hence, it is probably the time to bring those private college options back on your table. For more information, please check out financial aid application services.

In spite of the skyrocketing college tuition, there is a silver lining for those students who lack financial capacity to go to expensive private colleges. In addition to FAFSA money and financial aid for college, there are still millions of dollars left for education. Go Financial Aid, a financial aid consulting company, has the following tips for you to get better financial aid help:

1. It doesn’t hurt to appeal
The first financial aid award is not necessarily the final offer. If there is some information or special circumstances the colleges did not take into consideration, talk to them with the necessary documents and describe precisely why you deserve more financial help. Those college officials are more likely to work on your financial aid package if it is need-based. So, be specific about your circumstance. Another situation is to call the college and say: “You are my first option. I really want to go there but the cost is too high.” You are thereby telling the school: one, I have many options; two, if you want me to go to your school, you’d have to give me more incentive.

When talking with schools, you definitely need to be polite and avoid confrontational phrases such as “negotiate” and “bargain.”

2. Always know the deadlines
Some colleges start the financial aid applications as early as November, so do not wait until you are accepted. It is your responsibility to prepare for the financial aid application before the deadlines.

3. Focus on large scholarships
The federal government, state governments, and colleges give most of the financial aid. Other scholarships and grants can affect the amount of financial aid for which you are eligible from these three main sources. So talk to the schools about their outside scholarship policy. Don’t give up the large financial aid for the small stuff.

4. Seek financial aid consulting help
The financial  aid application process is often overwhelming. It requires a lot of knowledge, time, and energy. The application can be particularly hard for a first-generation college student. A tiny mistake can cause you to lose a lot of money, so be cautious. Financial aid consulting services offer expertise and plenty of experience. For more information, check out our solutions.

Categories: Financial Aid | Grants | Scholarships | Financial Aid Applications | FAFSA
Tags: fafsa financial aid scholarships

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