Do you fee it is too early to start thinking about college? If you’re college bound, loan and scholarship information and insight can never come too early. Many financial aid advisors and counselors say that you should begin applying for money for college as early as your sophomore year in high school.
CollegeView can provide free loan and scholarship search information, offering links to various schools’ financial aid departments and helpful advice about planning your financial aid timeline. You’ll also find entrance application information for college-bound students, as well as loan application and payment advice from financial aid professionals.
In “I Can’t Afford College” and Other Financial Aid Myths, Rose Rennekamp, vice president of communications for ACT, provides great free loan and scholarship search information, including an argument against paying a service to search for you. It seems elementary—if you’re looking for college scholarship and college loan funding sources, you shouldn’t have to pay someone to find it for you.
There are a number of reputable sources offering, among other services, a free loan/scholarship search tool. Rennekamp’s article is just one of many great sources of financial aid information for the college-bound student. Loan information, FAFSA advice, and info on choosing the best aid package are just a few of the additional topics addressed on our Financial Aid Page.
Of the great concerns faced by the college bound, loan repayment may be first and foremost. Horror stories about punitive interest rates and doggedly determined collectors abound, but a little careful planning and, especially, knowing your rights and responsibilities can go a long way toward keeping you out of uncomfortable future financial situations. Experts advise you fully understand the different types of loans and carefully examine each financial aid package you’ve been offered before accepting one.
Start early, and make the most of your time. You’ll be able to find more than one free loan and scholarship search tool on the web, and if you start looking early enough you’ll find sources of scholarships you never knew existed. For instance, there are a number of scholarships specifically for golf caddies. Kimberly Hardy, in her informative article Picking the Best Financial Aid Package, states the loan and scholarship search can’t start early enough, as there are a plethora of scholarships of all types that one would never discover during a last-minute search.
The stress-free loan and scholarship search can unearth treasures, such as scholarships offered by local institutions and groups, if one takes the time to fully investigate all the possibilities.
“You, College-Bound Student, have won a FREE SCHOLARSHIP to the university of your choice! Simply send us your credit card number…” Another topic on which financial aid advisors and administrators wholeheartedly agree is that one must be careful to avoid scholarship and financial aid scams.
Any offer that requires a fee-based rather than a free loan and scholarship search is, in all likelihood, a scam. Other warning signs include requiring a credit card number to proceed, a money-back guarantee (the only real guarantee is that you’ll never see your money again), a claim that the scholarship information is available nowhere else, or that you’re a finalist or you’ve won a prize for a contest or competition you never entered. Remember the old adage, adapted, in this case, for the college bound: a loan or scholarship that sounds too good to be true probably is.
The fact that these offers often appeal far more to the desperate adds credence to the advice given by many of the authors you’ll find on CollegeView.com: start early. Give yourself plenty of time to investigate, and you can prevent yourself from being in a situation in which an offer like this appeals to you.
Another trap to be avoided by the college bound is a loan in the form of an easy-to-obtain credit card. During your first few weeks of college, expect to be bombarded by credit card applications, offers that will seem more and more attractive as you realize that, now that you’re away from home, money is a little tighter than you’d expected. A line of credit, when handled well, can be a good source of emergency-only funds to rely on only when you’ve no other alternative, but it’s all too easy to lose track and then be faced with astronomical interest rates and yet another monthly payment.
This debt can follow you throughout your academic and professional life. Read Christina Couch’s informative article The D Word–Debt for more information on this important topic.
Learn about College Loans
To many students who are college bound, a loan or loans will make up a significant portion of your financial aid package. Knowing what you’re getting into before you accept these loans is crucial. We’ve created a financial aid section as a resource for those investigating ways to pay for your education.
College-Bound Student Information
CollegeView offers an extensive amount of valuable information and resources for the college-bound student. Please follow these links to discover how our articles can help you in your choice for an educational pathway: