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Before filing applications for financial aid, make sure you familiarize yourself with all the different types that are available to you. There are Perkins and Stafford loans, continuing education student loans, subsidized and unsubsidized, federal and private student loans. There are also limits placed on many types of loans.
Spend some time researching online, find out what all of your options are and use all of the resources available to you. High school guidance counselors help students each year with their college plans and will have valuable knowledge and experience in this area. Set up a meeting and explain what schools you are looking at, the tuition costs and what you think you can contribute financially.
Getting in touch with the financial aid departments of the schools you would like to attend is also a good idea. Talk to them and see if there are any further accommodations they are willing to make if your federal aid and private student loan are not enough. There are always alternatives they can suggest. This is what they do, so use them as a resource.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|