More college students are being prompted to seek out financial assistance through scholarships and grants in order to meet college tuition costs. However, the methods that students have used to find these free sources of financial aid often vary but some students are not exploring enough financial assistance opportunities to offer them the chance to avoid borrowing for their education.
Student loan debt is becoming problematic as there are some indications that university and college students now have more debt from student loans than many individuals do from credit cards. Also, products like student loan debit cards have allowed easy access to student loan funds which can be used by simply swiping a card and, as a result, there is fear that students are simply not understanding the severity of their student loan debt or are misusing these funds.
It’s for this reason that financial advisers are suggesting that students explore the totality of scholarship and grant options before borrowing to meet educational costs. While there are common types of financial assistance like Pell Grants or scholarships which may be available directly from one’s chosen university, but there are more options than commonly known federal assistance and scholarship funds which some students may not be looking into.
As an example, there are numerous scholarships which are available to specific students who may be pursuing a particular degree or plan to enter a particular career after graduation. Also, certain groups and individuals, like minorities, military members, or single mothers do have scholarship options in some cases which may allow them to meet the entirety of their tuition and fees at a college or university.
Understandably, the costs of paying for a college education are becoming quite expensive and many students are finding that financial assistance is their only route, but advisers often mention that student loans are not a required form of financial aid and that must be used. Obviously, there are students who have no options remaining and must borrow loans, but even in these cases, students who seek out funding from scholarships or grants may be able to escape a massive amount of college debt after they graduate.
While a simple Google search will yield endless results for scholarships and grant opportunities and students can fill out a FAFSA form in the hopes of receiving federal grant assistance, advisers are asking that students look for more specific types of scholarship and grant funds after they have exhausted popular financial assistance opportunities. Again, not all students have escaped the need for student loans, but those who seek out the maximum amount of assistance from free financial aid sources can lower the amount of loans they may need to borrower to cover the remainder of their college costs.