Requesting Info from Schools for Financing your Education
One of the most important aspects of seeking admission in a school is to decide how to pay for the education. After students have zeroed-in on the list of colleges that are apt for them, the next step should be to evaluate the options for getting financial aid for the college. College education is an expensive proposition and as per the College Board’s Trends in College Pricing report for 2010, the average tuition and fees range from $2,713 per year at public two-year colleges and $6,224 at public bachelor’s colleges to $33,679 at private doctoral universities, for the academic year 2010-11. However, this figure should not discourage prospective students and their parents as more than $130 billion is available to students in the form of aids.
Important Information to Request About Financing Your Education
It is imperative to request info from schools for financing the education by meeting the financial aid officers of various colleges and asking valuable questions as detailed below:
- Information can be requested from schools by asking the financial aid officer about the application materials needed to apply for the financial aid. Students need to inquire about the deadlines for submitting the financial aid forms and the time frame for getting notified about the financial eligibility.
- Students can request info from schools by inquiring about the average total cost of education. This cost typically comprises tuition and fees, room and boarding, books and supplies, travel, and other personal expenses. They need to inquire if there are any other costs that the students need to plan for. Students should ask the financial aid officer about the increase in costs over the last three years so as to establish a trend for the coming years. Students also need to clarify if their financial requirement has an impact on the admission decisions.
- Requesting info from schools also includes asking the financial aid officer about the different types of financial aids offered. They need to inquire about the eligibility requirements for need-based and merit-based financial aids. If the college provides merit-based aid then the students should inquire about the number of merit awards available, the value of the merit award, and the qualifications to be eligible for the merit award. In case of need-based aids, students need to inquire about the percentage of need met by the financial award and the options available to students if 100% of the need amount is not awarded.
- Prospective students can also request info from schools about the policy for determining the financial aid for the first year. Some colleges provide good financial aid for the first year and drastically reduce it for the following years while increasing the loans.
- Students should also ask the financial aid officer about the average debt that students have when they graduate. They should find out about the percentage of the students who graduate with a debt.
- Requesting info from schools also involves inquiring about the policy regarding outside scholarships. It is recommended that students inquire if the money earned from outside scholarship is subtracted from the loan amount or from the grant amount.
- Students can also request info from schools by asking about the terms of the packaging policy of the college. The financial aid package of a college typically comprises grants, loans, and work study. Students need to ask about what percentage of the aid package is grant vs. loans and work study. They should know if there is preferential packaging of financial aid for students having a stronger academic background.
By requesting the above listed info from schools, prospective students can make informed decisions about paying for college education. Potential students can request for info from schools by accessing the StateUniversity (http://www.stateuniversity.com/) website.