The average total cost to attend a private, four-year institution — including tuition, fees, room and board — has increased 30% over the past five years, to $32,307 for the 2007-08 academic year, according to the College Board’s Annual Trends in College Pricing report. At four-year public colleges and universities, costs are 40% higher, averaging a current $13,589. While the amount of financial aid has also risen, it’s done so at a comparatively sluggish pace of 11%. During the 2006-07 academic year, the average package of loans and grants for undergraduates was $9,499.
Here’s the nine ways to help you get more financial aid:
Apply for aid ASAP
Play hard to get
Dig into offer details
Look long term
Study scholarship policies
Exploit school rivalries
Get the college in your corner
Request a hardship review
It may be too late for those headed to college in the fall, but here is another tip to add to the list.
10. Plan Ahead
Before I entered high school I found out that my state offered a full tuition scholarship for the top 1% of students at each high school in the state.
I was able to do some research to find out that the percentages were calculated at my school using grade point average. If there was a tie, ACT scores were used to break the tie.
Because I was armed with the knowledge, I was able to secure one of the scholarships through the following steps:
Earned a perfect grade point average
Asked around to find out who else I was tied with
Asked the others their ACT scores
Retook the test to make sure that I had one of the top ACT scores to break the tie
Without planning, research, and action I probably wouldn’t have received the scholarship.
You can get my latest articles full of valuable tips and other information delivered directly to your email for free simply by entering your email address below. Your address will never be sold or used for spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.