DALLAS — In May, many graduating seniors committed to the college they plan to attend. Now the hard part: Paying for higher education. Many students have been financing it. Last year, Texans with student loan debt owed an average of $35,689, according to Experian. That’s a tall mountain of debt.
Asking (and asking again) for aid from your school
If you have been accepted into a school, you’ve probably already checked on their financial aid options. But if you are still in need, ask them again…and again. I camped out in that office when I was in school and it paid off — eventually.
Even if they’ve denied you, there are ways to appeal for financial help, whether you are need-based or merit-based. Student Loan Hero offers a how-to guide here.
What you should know about FAFSA financial aid
Let’s talk about the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You can submit it starting Oct. 1. Do it as soon as you can, because a good chunk of money is awarded first-come, first-served.
Remember: It’s always a year ahead. So, for the school year that starts this fall, you should have already filled it out. But you can still do it now. Also remember: it’s kind of forgiving. If you have expenses from last fall and this spring, you have until the end of June to file a FAFSA for the past school year and possibly get retroactive aid for expenses you already paid. Here is a lot more info.
Billions in scholarships
There are billions of dollars available in scholarships. And some of them don’t even require you to write yet another essay! So, maybe don’t completely take the summer off. Some homework now might help you head off to college right on the money.
Here are some often suggested sites that catalog a trove of scholarships: