Student Financial Aid

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A Focus on Who Benefits From Student Financial Aid

Throughout our articles that discuss college financing options, we have focused on the fact that parents from a low income bracket should not shy away when their children ask to attend college or university. This is because of the range of financial aid available. However, we have left behind those parents from middle income brackets that may have more money but will still find it hard to afford to send their child to college without help. All is not lost as student financial aid is not limited to the hard up.

There is a misconception in the United States that federal financial aid is still limited to low income bracket families, but this is not the case at all. It is true that you are more likely to qualify for student financial aid if your combined parent income is less than $70,000. This does not mean that if you earn above that it is not worth applying. The formula that is used to calculate who gets federal financial aid is mostly based on income, not assets. If you have more than one child in school but earn over $150,000, your next child may still qualify for federal financial aid. You will be expected to contribute, but you may be surprised just how much federal grants and federal loans your child will qualify for.

Also, if you are from a middle income bracket family you shouldn't forget about the range of obtainable scholarships and grants that are awarded based more on merit than they are financial need. With these forms of student financial aid, if your child is gifted, the college that they wish to attend may provide them with a grant or scholarship, without which, they may not be able to afford to attend. There are also a range of state grants available that should be investigated, as well as businesses and organisations that offer scholarships too. The competition for such scholarships and grants are usually fierce, but if you really want your child to attend college and feel that the financial burden may be too much to bear, there is no harm in applying and monitoring progress.

When your child makes the decision to further their education, you should investigate the ranges of student financial aid available thoroughly. For federal loans and grants, you should make sure that you complete the FAFSA and don't miss the submission deadline! In terms of college or business grants and scholarships, you will probably have to submit separate application forms and be prepared for interviews and even tests for your child. The most important thing to remember is that just because you earn more this does not mean that you and your child are not entitled to student financial aid.