A Look Ahead at Financial Aid in 2019

A Look Ahead at Financial Aid in 2019 Well, this is my last blog post for 2018. I hope you all had a great year, and have taken the steps necessary to find a good college and receive the financial aid necessary to help pay for it. What I hear time and again from the students I work with who manage to successfully navigate the entire process is that planning really does pay off.

Those students who are currently juniors in high school really need to start organizing themselves so they won’t feel quite so stressed come September. High school seniors can make sure they have all the pieces of their financial aid puzzle in place, while college students need to keep on task when it comes to managing their finances. With that in mind, here is a look ahead at financial aid in 2019 that will help you get the jump on achieving your college dreams:

Current High School Juniors

Well, this is my last blog post for 2018. I hope you all had a great year, and have taken the steps necessary to find a good college and receive the financial aid necessary to help pay for it. What I hear time and again from the students I work with who manage to successfully navigate the entire process is that planning really does pay off.

Those students who are currently juniors in high school really need to start organizing themselves so they won’t feel quite so stressed come September. High school seniors can make sure they have all the pieces of their financial aid puzzle in place, while college students need to keep on task when it comes to managing their finances. With that in mind, here is a look ahead at financial aid in 2019 that will help you get the jump on achieving your college dreams:

Current High School Juniors

 January through March: Wrap your head around the fact that you will be filing the FAFSA as soon after October 1 as possible, and it might not seem like you have as much time as your thought. Narrow down that college list, talk to your parents about college finances, and research financial aid and admission deadlines for each college on your list.

 April through June: See if your parents can take you to visit some of your prospective colleges. If they can, be sure to talk to their financial aid counselors to find out how much money most students spend on attending that school. You want to find a school that is a good academic fit, but you also need to have a firm grasp on just how much it will cost. Student loan interest rates may increase and you want to be sure you only borrow what you really need so that repayment burden doesn’t follow you for twenty years after graduation.

 July through September: Get ready to apply to colleges and file for financial aid. Learn about each school’s deadlines and application requirements and get your preliminary work done now. Gather your financial aid info so you’ll be ready to go on October 1. Start saving as much money as possible, so you can minimize student loan borrowing.

 October through December: It’s crunch time – get those applications and financial aid forms submitted. Watch your emails or student portals for notices from the colleges. If they request additional information, provide it as soon as possible so you don’t delay their decision on you.

Current High School Seniors

By now, you should really have completed the entire admissions and financial aid process. If you haven’t, make that your goal to have it all completed as soon as possible. If you have been waitlisted, consider applying to a “safe” college, so you have a back-up plan in place. For those who have been accepted, start looking at your budget and keep searching for scholarships. Find out when you and your parents will be expected to submit payment for your first semester of college.

Current College Students

Don’t forget that you have to file the FAFSA every year in order to maintain financial aid eligibility. Look for scholarships that kick in after you have completed your freshman year. Continue to watch your finances so you don’t go over budget. Current college seniors need to start thinking about life after graduation. Figure out how much money you think you can earn so you can make decisions on your student loan repayment plans. Keep in mind that student loan payments usually start about five or six months after graduation.

Planning Pays When It Comes to Paying for College