Upward Bound

Financial Aid Resources

Whether college is affordable and how to pay for it are major concerns for students and their families. With college costs rising at an alarming rate, students are more and more dependent on financial aid to manage the cost of a college education. 

Completing financial aid forms and meeting deadlines is a stressful and overwhelming process but it is manageable and Upward Bound is here to help. We are happy to meet with students and their parents/guardians to guide and support you through this process. Please call us to set up a time to meet or just ask some questions over the phone.

Submit your FAFSA as early in January as possible. Federal Aid is distributed to those who apply first. Waiting for taxes to be filed can result in fewer financial aid dollars. ESTIMATE INCOME and file early.

All financial aid, both federal and institutional, is accessed through the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Some schools also require separate institutional forms or the CSS Profile (submitted online). See links to Financial Aid resources.

MANAGING DEBT

Managing how much you borrow and how to repay it once you're in school is daunting but should be a very important part of your planning process. Things to think about when borrowing:

  • What you borrow this year is only a piece of the total amount you will owe. Keep the amount you borrow each year as low as possible by saving from work, applying to scholarships, taking advantage of work study, & not living extravagantly. Live like a college student in college so you don't have to once you're a college grad! Make a budget & stick to it. Sites like http://www.debt.org can help.
  • Focus your borrowing on Federal Loans like Stafford & Perkins where interest is paid while you're in school & you have a grace period for repayment. Avoid private loans whenever possible- they have much higher interest rates and may start accruing interest immediately which can get expensive fast.
  • If you know your major and have a career in mind, research how much you are likely to make out of college and make sure you don't borrow more than a year's salary for your entire education. Use sites like Career One Stop to answer questions like:
    • What is your earning potential?
    • How much debt can you realistically support? Remember, student loans won't be your only monthly expense if you are planning on living independently of your parents. Rent, car, insurance, food, entertainment will also demand a big chunk of your budget!
  • Know your repayment options for your loans! You might even qualify for a Student Loan Forgiveness program!
  • NEVER allow yourself to default on your student loans. Defaulting will destroy your credit rating and only make repaying your loans more burdensome over time. If you are having trouble repaying, contact your lender for assistance. There are several ways to defer payments until you are better able to pay. Just ignoring the bill is NOT a solution.