How To Beat Rising Education Costs

1577 words - 6 pages

Beating High Education Costs
The high cost of a college education seems to dampen people's hope of achieving higher education. Many families struggle just to put their children through college. When people think of college do they see a price tag, or a priceless experience that will change their future? It is upsetting to think that a people may not be able to further their education based solely upon whether or not they are able to afford the costs. Although higher education is extremely pricey, there are options available to help make it more affordable. In this essay, I will be discussing how to beat high college costs by utilizing financial aid, setting a budget and planning ahead.FINANCIAL AIDFinancial aid has become a huge factor in whether or not a person is able to attend college at all. "In 1970, financial aid to all students was equivalent to $11.15 billion in constant 1998 dollars, but that figure increased dramatically as more students began enrolling in two- and four-year colleges and universities. By 1998-99, the total amount of financial aid available to students had reached $61.8 billion. A year later, 56 percent of all undergraduates were receiving it (Hickey, 2002, Para. 3)." Financial aid can greatly affect a student's plans to attend college, so it is imperative for a student to obtain as much information as possible regarding financial aid options.Financial aid comes in many different forms. The Free Application for Financial Student Aid is the first thing that should be completed in the financial aid process. The Free Application for Financial Student Aid is widely referred to as the FAFSA. The FAFSA can qualify people for a Pell Grant, student loans, and work study. FAFSA can be filed electronically (online) or by filling out the paper application. Before beginning the FAFSA be sure to have all required documentation and income information needed to process the application. Many schools require students to fill out the FAFSA in order to be eligible for any financial aid. Some schools may also require students to fill out additional financial aid forms as well.If the FAFSA is completed online, a pin will be required in order to sign the application electronically. A pin is used in place of an actual signature. Parents might also need to apply for a pin if their information is included on the application. The pin consists of four digits. The pin does not expire, so students can use the same pin for each academic year. Students can sign up for a pin through the main FAFSA website.Grants are the first thing that should be considered when it comes to financial aid. A grant does not need to be repaid, which makes it ideal. The most common grant is the Pell Grant, which is a grant funded by the government. "The amount that a person will receive depends on income, college costs, and enrollment status (Federal Student Aid, 2008)." Some grants are based upon certain criteria, but the Pell Grant is based upon need, which makes it...

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