Congrats! I recommend accepting student loans only if they are absolutely needed. If you can afford to pay out of pocket or are able to qualify for a scholarship do that first. If you absolutely need student loans apply for financial aid first and then look for alternative options(private loans) to cover the gaps. Remember financial aid can be grants or student loans. Grants don't need to be paid, but the loan will come due at some point. Student loans can super helpful but often come with long terms and high interest rates. Try to stay away from the loans as much as you can. Congrats again, I wish you mucho success in the future!
Jayson recommends the following next steps:
It might be worth asking yourself first and foremost why it is you want to go college or if deep down you really actually want to or if it's an external pressure pushing you towards that choice. Have you put in to consideration what your cost of living will be like? California no matter you are is going to be expensive whether it's student housing or you're renting off campus, check out those costs and add it up to what you're looking at to pay for school and books it's going to add up unless you have the privilege of living at home and can cut out the housing costs.
Another thing to consider is what is it that you aspire to do? I know that's a tough question to ask someone who's your age, but if you don't want to be a doctor, lawyer or surgeon you have way more options at your disposal than you might believe and this is speaking from someone who opted out of going to college and is doing well for herself.
You could hop on to indeed.com and look up entry level, salaried positions in your area and eventually someone will hire you as long as you put the effort in to getting a job, you essentially make applying your job until you land something, and when you do just emerge yourself and learn everything you can there, chances are more doors will open, just make sure its an industry that you're interested in. All jobs can teach so much more than any class can.
I know this answer is way different than the others, but there are people who end up going to college and take out these crazy loans and for whatever reason can't pay them back in the future and it sets them back and they're just left with a constant financial burden that may or may not go away. The country is already in trillions of dollars of student loan debt and companies have started to hire people for entry level jobs without requiring a degree and just training on the job. I'd really think about it and just hit up indeed and just check it out before you do anything and see if you'd rather put your energy in to getting a job now and learning that way while being able to make and save money.
First, CONGRATULATIONS on your acceptance! I concur with the previous advice you've been given about taking loans, and want to add that scholarships and student worker positions are also a great way to help pay for college, in addition to federal grants.
There are numerous search sites for scholarships, which can seem daunting and timely, so here are a few sites that you may find helpful: www.fastweb.com, https://apps.collegeboard.com/cbsearch.ss/welcome.jsp. Check with your student financial aid department about student worker positions available on and off your campus. Also, check with your university, as many have their own scholarships they offer that you can use in collusion with outside scholarships.
The general criteria for a student worker is that you've applied for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), that you have financial need (this is based on your universities cost of attendance budget, minus the amount of aid [grants] you're eligible for), and the university has an open position. Visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/work-study for more information.
Additionally, if you or a parent is a veteran, they may have signed up for educational benefits. A lot of students do not realize that their veteran parent(s) may have unused educational benefits. If there is a possibility of veteran education benefits, go to: https://www.vets.gov to apply. I also recommending reaching out to a Veterans Affairs counselor to confirm benefits are available.
After having worked in student finance for over 13 years, I've encountered many scenarios, but the one's that standout the most are those students who took loans during their undergraduate studies and defaulted after they graduated or left the school, but later decided they wanted to return to complete their degree or complete a graduate degree. Once the loans have been defaulted, there are a number of steps the student is required to complete to resolve the default. Taking loans should always be the last resort for paying for your education. I always recommend grants, scholarships, work study positions, and even making small monthly payments can help reduce the amount, if any, that you will need to take in loans.
Karen recommends the following next steps:
Congrats on being accepted into UCSB! I would echo Jayson's comment about only taking out loans where needed, and many schools offer grants to help cover the cost of education.
Personally. I made the choice to go to my alma matter mainly for financial reasons: they offered me the most scholarships and grants, allowing me to take out the last amount of loans. As much as we may not like it or agree, taking out some loans to help pay for school has become a normality for most Americans. Therefore, the goal is to try to minimize the amount that you take out, but also while maximizing the "payout" from taking the loan. The payout in this case is expected salary, which comes from the prestige of the school/program, your major, and also includes intangible items such as how much you love the program and the school.
Schools will usually tell you (either in your letter or through additional correspondence) what your expected package will look like after grants, scholarships, etc. As Jayson mentioned, definitely fill out information on FAFSA as soon as you can and be sure to search and apply for any scholarships that you would be eligible for.
If you need help with additional questions once you have a better idea around the total expected loan amount, etc., just ask away!
Again, congrats on the UCSB acceptance. That is fantastic!
Nicholas recommends the following next steps:
It is very important to understand the types of loan you will be taking and what they mean. If you are in a position to not take out loans, it could save you unnecessary interest payments. There are two types of loans typically available to college students, a subsidized and unsubsidized loan. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest during the period of time you are in school. These are typically awarded to students identified with more need. Whereas unsubsidized loans begin accruing interest the day you take them on. Certain loans also come with a grace period of 6 months after graduation before payment is due. I would highly recommend understanding your financial options prior to choosing a college to determine how much debt you will be left with in addition to what, if any, types of loans you will take, and how much interest they will accrue. This will set you up for success not only in, but after college as well.
Does the college offer positions which can alleviate the cost to avoid loans? For example, a work-study position to make money to pay a portion of tuition. Or resident assistant to cover the cost of housing. Are stipends available for miscellaneous expenses such as materials.
One other point I might make regards graduate school. Many employers are willing to incur the cost of graduate school while you are employed with them. This is a great alternative to continuing on immediately after undergraduate school (which will extend that loan grace period since you will still be in school). Additionally certain colleges and universities offer graduate assistant positions for students in which you are employed by the college and they cover the cost of tuition for the graduate courses.
Best of luck.