Financial aid options need to be explained better


Aside from the worries of getting into college, the next big worry many have is how they will pay for it.

Whether the school is private or public, let’s face it, furthering your education isn’t cheap. Sure, there is federal financial aid to help, but sometimes this help ends up being harmful in the long run.

 When it comes to getting financial aid to pay for school, there are many things students don’t know and lack knowledge about.  From knowing there is a way to spread out your aid to last all four years in college to obtaining special grants for simply being a student who is taking more than 12 credit hours. The lack of information about financial aid is leading countless students into a life of drowning in student-loan debt.

 A common misunderstanding students have about receiving financial aid is not knowing the difference between a grant and a loan. Although a grant is aid that does not have to be paid back, loans do. There are two types of student loans, subsidized and unsubsidized, and failing to fully understand the difference between the two can lead to paying more money back than you bargained for.

Adriana Alexander, a third-year broadcast journalism student, said there were a lot of things she wished she had been informed about when it comes to paying for school.

“I wish I would have known the different grants the school offers for students who don’t receive scholarships. I know you should do your own research, but I think they could inform us about some of them,” she said.

Another common issue students have with financial aid is simply not being educated enough on the matter. Loans are an option but there are other approaches that can be taken.

 Many students qualify for more grants and fellowships than they are led to believe and have taken out loans due to their lack of understanding on the matter.

“There is so much I wish I would have known my freshman year that I know now. The fact I just found out I could have my aid distributed throughout my four years sucks. I would have definitely set up my financial aid that way,” said Aliyah Davis, a fourth-year broadcast journalism student.

The fact of the matter is, there are many misunderstandings about financial aid students have and it is leading them into more debt than they have to be in. Granted, it is the student’s job to do their own research, colleges and universities can better inform students on their options when it comes to paying for their education.