3 answers

What should I do? Need your advice

Asked Tbilisi, Georgia

I was accepted to a few Colleges that I really like, but Financial aid didn't cover the full cost. My financial situation isn't great. What should I do? #college #financial-services #financial-aid

3 answers

Charles’s Answer

Updated Richardson, Texas

Nata, first congratulations on being accepted to several colleges. First, I would create a spreadsheet. Determine what the estimates of each school including room & board, books, etc. will cost. I would also add gas money and/or airfare to and from these schools when you think you will come home for the Holidays. Then subtract any current financial aid that you have received to see what the lowest cost is. Although you like all the colleges you have been accepted to, make sure you really like the town/city the college is in and the campus.

As for additional financial aid, I would look into scholarships. I have seen many post about Cappex, Niche, ScholarshipZone, Scholarships and StudentScholarships, however another site that I found when helping another student was Scholarships360. This website shows the amount, due date, etc. and other information.

Another option and it's up to you is a community college to get your Associate's Degree and all prerequisites out of the way, which would be cheaper. Perhaps stay at home and save some money, as well. However, you may have to reach out to the colleges to see if you can defer your acceptance if you go that route. They may ask you to reapply and get accepted again, but you don't know if you don't ask. You will also need to ensure those courses you take at the Comm. College can be transferred to your 'major' College.

Charles recommends the following next steps:

  • Create a financial spreadsheet to see which of your Favorite Colleges will be the least expensive, including any traveling home.
  • Apply for additional scholarships. There are still many that you can apply for this month.
  • Look into a possible defer of acceptance and look into a community college. Also ensuring Comm. College credits can be transferred.

Arianna’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Hello Nata,

This is a question that comes up frequently among students. Students who need to supplement their financial aid are able to do so with scholarships, or loans. The idea of loans can be daunting for many students and just the sheer word can make any student nervous. However, it is an option to finance your education. The terms of the loan, how much you should request, and the process of securing a loan is a conversation that you need to have with the financial aid office of your school. In my particular case, financial aid did not cover my full tuition when I was in college, so I did have to take out a loan. I made sure I understood what this entailed and I asked many questions. I also decided to take out only what I needed.

The other option you have available to you are scholarships. Scholarships are a great way to pay for college and I encourage you to visit Fastweb (https://www.fastweb.com). It is a site devoted to scholarships. Look through it and apply to all those that you meet their requirements. Scholarship applications do take time, so make sure that you allocate time to prepare for them. Read the instructions carefully making sure you understand what is being asked of you. When you have written you scholarship essay proof read it for grammatical and spelling errors. Have it reviewed by some else (a teacher, a friend, or a family memember) who is a strong writer. When I was in high school and I was preparing my applications I asked my English teachers if they would review my essays. I did ask before hand to see if they were willing, and I made sure to have it ready with enough time prior to the deadline.

Arianna recommends the following next steps:

  • Talk to the Financial Aid office of your school to learn more about loans
  • Visit Fastweb to look at Scholarships
  • When preparing a scholarship essay make sure you proof read for grammatical and spelling errors.

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

One should look at education as one looks at any business expense: look for a way to accomplish the goal with the least prudent expenditure to allow for the maximum return on that expenditure. Also, one should keep in mind that it really does not matter where one goes to school. What matters is not hard one works to get the best grades, as that is the way employers measure a potential employee out of college, and how well one works to develop a networking community, as that is how one develops employment opportunities and advances in one's career. Here is an important video to watch, I will provide some steps to accomplish your goal below. ##


Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • Approaching college in an economical manner will help to insure a good return on your investment. Here are some good tips: ## http://www.educationplanner.org/students/paying-for-school/ways-to-pay/reduce-college-costs.shtml ##
  • The first step to put yourself in a position of maximizing your investment is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. What is important here is finding out what would be the best career fo you to follow to maximize the use of you interests, skills, abilities, and personality traits. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##