Students who are returning to college or beginning for the first time typically use the months of May, June, and July as a way to better prepare themselves to either return to or start school, and despite the fact that May is a bit late for students to be researching scholarship and grant options, college tuition assistance may still be available in some cases, despite the fact that many students might have begun their search much earlier this year. Students are meeting a higher costs when it comes to attending a college or university and many advisers are worried that the students may turn to student loans as a way to help pay for university expenses, like tuition and books.
However, students are still being advised, even at this late date, to avoid student loans if at all possible when it comes to paying for university tuition and fees. Students are, again, in a position where there may be fewer opportunities for scholarships and grants available, but even those who are still searching in the month of May are going to find that there could be funding available from certain sources and, as a result, this could help them avoid borrowing.
While many students need to be wary of deadlines for certain scholarships and grants, like the FAFSA deadline requirement, there are still those who are looking for either private or institutional financial assistance that could be available, and for those who may be looking for merit-based assistance or specific forms of financial aid, this could open more doors to those who are still in need of aid. While, again, May is not the earliest time a student should have started looking for financial assistance, but those who are aggressive in their scholarship or grant search may be able to find specific forms of scholarships that will be available to only students in specific degree fields or planning to enter into certain careers after school, but again, there may be institutional options as well.
Students are often advised to contact their school’s financial aid office to inquire about forms of assistance that may be directly from a university if federal assistance is either unavailable or does not meet the entirety of a student’s financial needs. Yet, there are still those who are struggling in the area of free financial assistance, and feel that loans may be their only option, but advisers are suggesting that students perhaps explore financing options which may allow them to meet costs throughout the semester rather than at the beginning, or continue to dig for funding that could still be available to specific students in need.
One of the main reasons that advisers are hoping students try to avoid college loan debt is because this type of debt has surpassed credit cards as the number one debt obligation that many consumers face and, since credit cards can easily be abused by many consumers, this is quite a shocking finding, especially since there are options that students may use outside of acquiring a loan. Financial aid counselors at universities, in high schools, or online may offer advice to students who are still seeking their financial aid assistance, but it needs to be understood that students can find themselves in a very difficult position if they settle for loans without exploring all of these options for free assistance, as the cost of attending some college and university degree programs can be quite substantial and create a situation where students will be repaying these debts for years to come, or worse, end up defaulting as a result of being unable to meet these costs.