Missing the FAFSA Deadline
So you missed the FAFSA deadline. What now? First, deep breath. Second, keep reading. Affording college seems out of reach, but have no fear because there are more opportunities for you to get money for college. In order to make sure that you do not miss out on federal aid next year, make sure that you partner with Go Financial Aid and fill out the FAFSA on time and correctly.
There are a multitude of scholarships available for students to help afford college. There are scholarships based on your unique interests, field of study, minority status, amongst many other qualifications. Your school is another great resource for additional aid. Check for department, certificate, and program scholarships. Also be sure to check if any of your extracurricular activities, such as clubs or sports, warrant you for an award!
The internet is full of search engines that boast their abilities to find the “perfect” scholarship for you, we have one resource that shines above the rest, Scholly. Scholly is available online on your computer or is a downloadable app, and it provides a custom and complete list of scholarships that pertain to you based on your characteristics. For $0.99 (app) and $2.99 (online) it sounds a little too good to be true - so we tested it for you. One of our interns, Rebecca, used the application and received a $1,000 scholarship to use towards her study abroad experience this past Spring -not a bad return on investment!
Missing the deadline for FAFSA does not mean you miss the opportunity to grab some grant money to aid in paying for college. There are Institutional and Private grants you may qualify for.
Institutional grants are provided by educational entities, like your college or university. These grants are designed to award academic achievement and are based on merit. Please be advised that some institutional grants are not only based on academic performance, but by financial need as well.
Private grant money is provided by the private sector. Private organizations, community foundations, even some employers take care of their own by giving away money to aid in educational efforts. Community foundations and private organizations administer grant opportunities to students who meet specific criteria relative to the organization's mission - such as service, community involvement, or academic achievement. If you are a student who has full-time employment, your employer may have opportunities for you to further your education through financial support.
Unlike Grant and Scholarship money, which is essentially free, you have to repay loans. Be careful when choosing where to apply for loan money. Know your stuff before going on the search. Here are some helpful things to keep in mind while looking.
Go for a Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students before going for alternative, private loans. The federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is a loan that can be taken out by your parents (if you are a dependent) to bridge the gap between the cost of attendance of your school and any other financial aid received. The responsibility of repaying the loan falls on your parents, and carries an interest rate of about 6.84%.
Private, or alternative, loans for education can supplement any financial aid you receive to ensure you can afford school. These alternative loans are based on credit and tend to be at an interest rate higher than that through a federal lender. However, a benefit of private institution loans are that you do not have to complete federal forms with these loans.