What Can Your Financial Aid Office Do For You?
As you embark on your college journey, there are a few important places on campus you should get acquainted with. Sure, you need to know where the nearest dining hall is, and may want to explore the rec center, but there also are offices on campus you should locate and know how to contact. The financial aid office is an important one. While you may think you only need to worry about your finances once each year when you complete your FAFSA, there are all sorts of things your financial aid representative can help you with throughout your college career.
The financial aid representative’s job is to:
help you make smart borrowing decisions,
help you complete your financial aid forms,
help you in any appeals you may have regarding financial aid decisions, and
tell you how much aid you’re qualified to receive.
The representative can give you valuable information on ways to pay for your education, including:
Federal and private loan options
Aid programs your school offers
Deadlines for aid applications
Payment options for tuition, room and board, and how to possibly lower your costs
They should also be your go-to resource for answers to any questions you might have about your aid package, what you can use it for, and where to go for additional private aid, should you need it. If there are any changes to your family's financial situation, you need to notify the financial aid office as well.
Your representative can also help you with your Entrance Counseling. Entrance Counseling, which you can access at StudentLoans.gov with your FSA ID,explains all the responsibilities that go along with getting a loan. You must read through the online information and answer related questions as a condition of getting your Direct loan. Covered topics include understanding your loans, managing your spending, plans to repay and how to avoid default. You’ll need 20-30 minutes to complete the counseling.
While each school is different, chances are there is lots of information on your college’s website about the financial aid office. Be sure to check it out and don’t hesitate to contact them with any questions you may have!
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