May 22, 2009, Newsletter Issue #120: Financial Aid Catch-22

Tip of the Week

When planning your college career and expenses, remember to take into account any scholarships or grants you receive after your financial aid package. While credit-based loans will not be affected, assistance based on financial need may.

Any need-based federal student loans are subject to changes in your financial situation. If you are awarded outside sources of money that are not repayable your federal loans may be decreased. This is because it is determined that those outside sources will cover a portion of loans given to you due to financial need. An increase in money available for your education means your need has gone down. It is the financial Catch-22.

Sources of financial help like academic and athletic scholarships are the best choices for college funding because you do not have to pay them back. Take notice, however, that they will take the place of loans based on your financial needs before private loans based on credit.

More money through grants and other non-repayable sources means fewer loans and less interest to pay back once you graduate.

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