"Whether you’re still filling out your first financial aid application or you’re out of school and paying off your loans, it’s likely that you have encountered questions along the way. The financial aid process isn’t always that straightforward, and it can sometimes be frustrating to hit dead ends when you have questions," Frugal Student reports.
"We rounded up a few of the financial aid questions that we’ve received, and shared them with a spokesperson at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). She helped illuminate some answers that could help you distill your aid package down into a more understandable format.
Can You Appeal Financial Aid Award Decisions?
One student asked us whether they can appeal a financial aid decision because they feel like they didn’t get enough aid in a recent offer.
'Yes, in extreme or unusual circumstances,' the NASFAA spokesperson said. 'Financial aid administrators may exercise 'professional judgment' in making adjustments to data elements on the FAFSA or the college’s cost of attendance on a case-by-case basis when applicants have special or unusual circumstances, such as the loss of employment, the death of a dependent student’s parent, or extraordinary dependent care expenses.'
If you feel you might fall into this category, contact the financial aid administrator at your school to discuss your financial situation and to find out whether they might reconsider your aid package.
Can I Pay Toward My Loan Balance While Still in College?
Another student contacted Frugal Students saying he took out loans for freshman year, but didn't need them anymore by sophomore year, and wanted to start paying those first-year loans off before graduation. Is that possible?
'Yes,' the NASFAA spokesperson told us. 'There are no restrictions on when students can begin paying off their federal student loans. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest while the student is enrolled. Unsubsidized loans, however, accrue interest while the student is still enrolled. If the student has unsubsidized loans and is able to begin making payments toward them, it may be wise to do so to avoid additional interest accrual.'
Remember to make this decision after considering any other debt you have – for many students, credit cards might have a higher interest rate than student loans, so be sure to make any payoff decisions only after looking at your entire financial landscape."
NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.
Publication Date: 12/3/2019