April 12, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

You Don’t Qualify for Financial Aid. Now What?

Most students graduate with some type of debt, and financial aid through the federal government is the most common type of student loan. Borrowers are able to access funds relatively easily, but not everyone qualifies. Eligibility is based on a number of factors, including your citizenship status, academic performance, criminal record and household income level. Whether you’ve lost your coverage or are applying to school for the first time, federal student loans aren’t your only option. Here are a few ways you can pay for tuition without government aid.

Explore Private Student Loans

Private student loans tend to have more options than federal lending. They are available to students of all ages and income levels, and you can apply with or without a cosigner. Someone denied federal student aid because their parents earn too much can look into private lending instead. You also get to take advantage of flexible repayment models, including refinancing and loan consolidation. Types of private student loans range from degree-specific to income-based and even bad credit student loans. No matter what your circumstances, don’t rule out this option for funding your education.

Apply for Scholarships & Grants

Grants are need-based awards for students who can demonstrate financial inability to pay for their degree. Scholarships, on the other hand, tend to be merit-based and are awarded based on achievements, your job, academic discipline and more. People who participate in sports or art programs may be able to qualify for additional funding; there are hundreds of options each year, and you can start applying months before the academic term begins. In some rare scenarios, a college receives a financial gift from a donor intended to create opportunities for students that you can see if you qualify for as well. 

If you qualify for grants, you’ll likely be notified when you apply for FAFSA. If you don’t, then scholarships are available. You apply to these on an individual basis, and you usually have to write an application letter expressing why you feel you should receive the award. Although it takes some work to receive funding, the major benefit of scholarships is that they are entirely free, so you can graduate with far less debt if you combine yours with private loans.

Find a Part-time Job

Many students work to pay their way through college. While it is sometimes stressful managing a job and school, you can drastically lower debt by working during your degree. There are also ways to make this a bit easier; you could look for flexible remote work, try out side-gigs online or participate in a work-study program on campus. Attending a low-cost school can even put you at an advantage financially if you work part-time. Because resident tuition for most state schools is under $10,000 a year, you could possibly live at home and pay your year’s academic expenses out of your own pocket.

Ask Your Parents for Their Support

While this isn’t an option for everyone, if your parents have enough money, they may consider helping you pay for your education. They could apply for a Private Parent loan that essentially awards them money for your expenses. They could also be willing to contribute money to your education personally, either by paying the school directly or giving you the funds. If your parents are unable to pay your tuition, there are other ways they could help. Parents can help children succeed at school by offering support that is not financial. For example, allowing you to live rent-free or for a low cost while you work.

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