Every student needs to carefully manage college funding.
But for first-generation, low-income students it can be an especially strange and daunting task to understand the financial aid process. The Future Sacramento program dispels the mystery and instills the confidence to continue towards the goal of a college degree. Learn more about our services.
Don’t make mistakes that can leave you haunted by financial aid nightmares!
Terrified of missing vital funding? Before you scream, here are some tips for avoiding mistakes:
- The night of the living deadline. Deadlines are serious business. Students who lack role models of fiscal management and college success are more at risk for missing application timelines. Missing any of the financial aid deadlines can reduce or remove critical funding sources.
- Twilight Zone of delaying graduation and running out of financial aid. Invest in yourself by doing your best to graduate on time, before your grant funding eligibility runs out. Learn for how long your grant will renew. For example, the State Cal Grant funds for four years and the Federal Pell Grant has a lifetime limit of the equivalent of six years.
- Ghost of income past. Did you or your parents receive a one-time gift or earn an unusual spike in income? Don’t let this reduce your aid unnecessarily. If you have a history of low-income, but the year you apply for financial aid your tax records show a higher income – appeal to your college for a change of income or financial need appeal review.
- Zombie paycheck. As a student, remember your first priority is your academics. Know your limits of balancing school and work before taking on a distracting or exhausting second job. Be cautious of plans to drop out for a time to earn money to complete your degree. Sometimes, without a degree, the only jobs available pay minimum wage and that may not leave you with savings to pay for to college.
- Hunchback weight of college loans. If you need to take out loans, prepare for repayment. Do not be caught surprised when loans come due or you could be left more in need.
Don’t let the FAFSA scare you
Don’t know where to start with your FAFSA? This article will help walk you through the process step by step. Click Here