Student financial aid for tuition costs and general methods used when paying for college often come in the form of scholarships and grants as many students seek out these forms of financial assistance to help them meet costs associated with tuition, fees, room and board, and books. However, there have been college cutbacks which have many concerned over whether there will be more financial aid available in the near future and the coming academic years, or if more students may have to seek out loans as a way to meet college costs.
Obviously, scholarships and grants can come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, as students who may be pursuing a particular degree, be in a situation where substantial financial need is necessary due to a low income environment, or students who may have performed well academically all can find financial assistance opportunities by submitting applications to these scholarship and grant programs. While there are also financial assistance plans that may help minorities, single mothers, or even unemployed individuals meet college tuition costs, financial aid counselors have often suggested that students begin looking for these forms of financial aid early as seeking out scholarships that may be offered to the general student population and scholarships or grants offered specifically to a small section of students will, obviously, take time to find and apply for.
Yet, there is concern that some colleges may be looking at students who can pay a larger portion of their tuition and fees without the need of financial assistance as cutbacks have made many colleges and states reevaluate their financial assistance options. An article on SmartMoney.com stated, “…with college endowments not yet fully recovered from the recession and a greater number of needier students, many schools are starting to rein in their generosity. The top students still will be heavily recruited, experts say, but as schools face greater financial strains, borderline applicants with fatter wallets stand a better chance of getting in.”
Understandably, when colleges are unable to give students more financial assistance, there are concerns as to whether the students which may be admitted to a college or university will go elsewhere, and this is one of the reasons that some universities may be looking at students who can afford a greater amount of their tuition costs. However, students are still able to find financial aid despite cutbacks at many state levels and even proposed cutbacks in federal levels. While, again, there is a great number of scholarship and grant opportunities for a wide range of students, if universities are beginning to cut back on the amount of money they may offer students or if federal funding is lessened for students who may want to pursue options like the federal Pell Grant program, among others, students will have to start looking for outside resources like local, state, or continued federal scholarship plans that may be tailored for a small section of students who are pursuing a particular degree or plan to enter into a certain career after graduation.
Student loans may still be necessary for some if these cutbacks begin to drastically lessen the funds that students may acquire to help meet college costs, but looking for as much financial assistance as possible can at least lower the amount that a college student must borrow if student loans will be necessary for their personal situation.