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February is Financial Aid Awareness Month

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If you or your child are getting ready to start college, you’re probably feeling a little lost on how to navigate the world of financial aid and what your financing options. You’re in luck! February is Financial Aid Awareness Month so the higher education community will be providing crucial information to students and families all month long so that you know how to borrow smartly.

Tuition costs can be drastically different from school to school, so be sure to take these costs into consideration when sending out applications. If you receive scholarship offers, be aware of what exactly is included and what you will still be responsible for. Scholarships are frequently for set dollar amounts, or cover tuition only, leaving the student responsible for all other associated costs, such as housing, meal plans, books, and additional university fees.

Financial aid is available so that students can attend college even if they can’t pay their tuition ahead of time, and scholarships and assistance from family members are not enough. There are many ways students can get financial aid for college, including:

  • Being financially qualified to receive it based on income
  • Performing well academically
  • Being a first-generation college student
  • Talented in sports
  • Planning to pursue a degree in a specific field
  • Serving in the military
  • Agreeing to work in particular locations or certain fields after graduation
  • Having a special need or disability

Even if you think you will not qualify for financial aid, you should still fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is used not only for financial aid, but to determine eligibility for federal and state student grants, fellowship programs, work-study opportunities, and federal loans.

Along with federal loans, student loans are also available as a financial aid to college students. These loans will help close any gaps between your built-up savings and the cost of tuition. It’s important to understand that the funds in student loans are borrowed and must be repaid with interest. At Alltru, we offer loans with low interest rates and flexible terms. Make sure to find a loan that aligns with your budget so that you can realistically pay it off within its terms. We encourage you to explore your options early to find the right loan for you.

Remember, we at Alltru are always here to help. If you have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to stop by one of our branches or set an appointment to meet with our knowledgeable staff.

Until next time,

Alltru Credit Union employee Chelsea Springli's signature

Chelsea Springli