Now that you've seen and deciphered your Student Aid Report, you've realized you still don't have the funds to the attend the college of your dreams. Now what? You have a few options to consider, before reconsidering your number one school.
1. Begin a scholarship hunt. Scholarships are free money. Remember you can find scholarships that are awarded for athletics, academics, volunteering, background, etc.
2. Appeal your financial aid award. Contact the school and see if they can provide you with a more favorable financial aid package. This idea may seem far fetched to some, however if you are an excellent student and have a variety of offers on the table for various other schools...your number one school may be willing to work with you. They don't want to lose the best and the brightest.
3. Research and apply for private loans. These loans are credit based--therefore nearly all undergraduate students will require a co-signer. A private loan will allow you to borrow up to the entire cost of your education--meaning as long as you repay no school is out of the question. Remember, private loans will have higher interest rates than federal school loans do.
Remember to keep your options open and keep looking. While the financial aid process is not easy, if you want something bad enough you can find a way to make it work. Your best bet is to do your research and discover your options!