Post-secondary education is often an expensive process, and for many people, financial aid serves as a very useful tool. There was a significant misuse of this aid in the past years when the United States economy was expanding and thriving. A large percentage of the individuals who took student loans spent the financial aid on expenses not related to their education.
There were numerous instances of education money being spent on luxuries such as extravagant weddings and vacations. A good number of parents obtained loans on behalf of their children. Unfortunately, most of this money was not spent on their children’s education. However, the currently available supply of financial aid cannot meet the aid requests during these times of economic recessions.
Many universities and colleges try as much as possible to avail financial aid to students who have been hit by the economic downturns. This is in light of an increasing number of students requesting additional financial aid for their college degrees. There are some individuals who try to take advantage of this situations. This happens when they fail to completely disclose their incomes.
Non-disclosure of accurate income information during application for financial aid is illegal. Any students who are found to have concealed income are liable to denial of financial aid. Also, any financial aid that the students may have received can be withdrawn.
Most universities and colleges around the country are witnessing a large increase in the number of college students looking to obtain financial aid. This is mainly due to the fact that the country’s economy has slipped further into recession. Approved financial aid has exhibited an increase of more than 30 % from the previous years, according to a financial aid officer.
Financial aid is also being afforded to students whose parents were earning six-digit annual incomes in the years before. This is attributed to job and stock losses as well as security equity losses as a result of economic recession. As such, financial aid requests to spend on expenses not related to education are not being awarded.
In the past, a student’s financial aid approval was based on the parent’s annual income for the year prior to financial aid application. The Department of Education is now requesting education institutions to base financial aid grants on the parents’ current salaries. This is in response to job losses and the overall impact of economic misfortune.
Universities and colleges are also considering medical cover and other expenses that were not reported in the previous years. Qualified students can be able to obtain additional funds on top of the afforded financial aid to complete their college education. Below are several ways to achieve this as recommended by experienced financial aid officers.
Ensure that you have completed and return the necessary financial aid application documents including the FAFSA before the set deadlines. Do the same for the Financial Aid Profile or College Board CSS if it is a requirement. Always take time to carefully review the financial aid application documents before submitting. This is to make sure that the documented parent’s past year income is 100 % accurate.
In some cases, your past year’s income may be required. Ensure that what you write down is also accurate. Go through the information regarding the financial aid program implemented by your educational institution. The financial aid policy information can be obtained from organization websites, brochures or releases. Careful reviewing will enable you to note any specific or important instructions regarding application.
You can be able to appeal for more financial aid through a Professional Judgment. This is also referred to as a special circumstances review. You have to send a written letter to the financial aid office to be afforded a Professional Judgment.
Special circumstances may include any financial circumstances that have changed from last year to this year and anything that distinguishes your case from the typical cases. It is advisable to be specific and straight to the point on why you require more financial aid. Always include appropriate documents including bill copies and W-2 forms with the financial aid request forms.
Time is of the essence in this regard. It is imperative that you submit your request for additional financial aid in due time. The institutions often have a budget allocated to financial aid. The college financial aid office may be unable to comply with a qualified request if the funds have already been allocated elsewhere. You can miss out on financial aid if you apply late regardless of your eligibility.