The costs of attending a student's dream college or university continue to rise in today's economy, and most American families are struggling to find ways to make college tuition more affordable. No matter what degree a student may be interested in pursuing or declaring a major in, expect that hefty price tag to be higher than last year's.
According to recent data from Sallie Mae, typical U.S. families have spent $26,226 on college for the 2018-2019 school year. While many of these American family households actively apply for scholarships and grants (31% to be exact), there are still families that are not covering their children's tuition through academic awards or financial aid.
...typical U.S. families have spent $26,226 on college for the 2018-2019 school year.
A new study by the National Center for Education Statistics shows that:
23% of students or their parents do not actively apply for financial aid due to the lack of information on how they can complete one
15% did not know about or realize that they could complete a FAFSA
32% thought or believed that their qualification for financial aid was ineligible
With these statistics in mind, U.S. families that are failing to apply for these scholarships or grants are overlooking on thousands of dollars in making college more affordable for their children. According to a recently updated 2017 NerdWallet analysis, the class of 2017 high school graduates overlooked $2.3 billion dollars in free federal grant money for colleges/universities.
...high school graduates overlooked $2.3 billion dollars in free federal grant money...
Apply early for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
Before your family members or you forget, apply for the FAFSA. The FAFSA provides families and students with access to over $150 billion in federal aid programs that include work-study, college grants, and student loans. Taking only 10-15 minutes to apply, your child could be awarded merit-based scholarships and thousands of dollars of financial aid. With online help and a Federal Student Aid Information Center, you can ask for help on filling out the FAFSA.
It is never too early to begin saving for college. If you are the student, put aside your summer vacation earnings and be economical with your spendings. Maybe sell some items that you no longer use (like that Playstation 4 that's been collecting dust near your TV) or some old used high school textbooks that you can resell to a younger classmate. Reallocate money that you may have been spending on entertainment and non-necessities so you can put money towards college.
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Start your research and begin your financial aid application at FAFSA: