Many people’s college funds (or rather their kids’ college funds), in addition to their regular savings, are being hit by the current financial malaise. So what to do if your kid is in college and your money’s running out? Find a way to get more.
Fortunately, ABC News offers some practical tips on how to do this that don’t involve robbing a bank, which, come to think of it, might not have much to spare now, anyways. Nonetheless, here’s some advice courtesy of Lake Forest College financial aid director Jerry Cebrzynski.
Let your financial aid officer know what your specific situation is. If it’s changed significantly, you may be eligible for more aid than you were in the past. A drastic loss of income in the family can change your eligibility for financial aid…
Families can meet with the college about payment scheduling. Instead of paying a lump sum for fall semester and again for spring, some colleges have a 10- or 12-month plan. That way parents or students pay a smaller amount each month, rather than two big checks per year.
And in cases of extreme emergency, your college or university may offer a short-term loan plan. They vary from place to place, and you may get a longer grace period for paying them back — like a 5- to 10-year period.
There is also a work study program. Colleges are trying to do as much as they can to earmark a little more money for these, but the amount they can give out is limited. Still, the students who get it make a couple of thousand bucks a year…
Also think about local scholarships and ones geared towards certain types of students. There are other financing options, as well.
Schools can refer you to private education loan programs. Sallie Mae is a big one. These are loans taken out under the student’s name, with a co-signer. There are also federal plus loans — a loan for parents to borrow on behalf of the child with relatively low, 8.5 per cent interest. These days, they are a little easier to get than private education loans.
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