Cutting The Cost of College

The cost of college has gone up exponentially over the last several years leaving many students and families feeling that attending a college or university is out of reach. Parents and loved ones always encourage their children to get good grades but many do not realized just how important it is until their child’s high school years are coming to an end. They not only need good grades to pass to the next grade, but if college is their desire, they need a certain grade point average to get in and to get money.

Did you know that your student’s grade point average and college entrance exam scores can influence financial aid awards and can help relieve you of some of the costs of fees and tuition? Many public and private schools require a certain ACT or SAT score for students to even be considered for a scholarship. These scores are usually looked at in conjunction with a student’s GPA; each college or university has its own way of calculating who will receive a scholarship.

In the world of financial aid, there are two types of aid: need based and merit-based. Need-based aid is determined around a student’s financial ability to pay all of the costs associated with going to college. If the student is still a dependent, then your income and assets are closely analyzed to determine how much they can afford without financial assistance. If a student is deemed in financial need, then they will most likely qualify for need-based aid in the form of loans, grants, and/or work study.

Merit-based financial aid is awarded based on a student’s academic accomplishments, which would include their grades and ACT & SAT scores. Students are also considered for merit-based aid if they can offer a special talent to the university like athletics or music. Studies have shown that merit-based aid makes up close to half the financial aid being awarded. If you are not looking to take out student loans, (which must be repaid), students should be encouraged to boost those grades now and start preparing for the ACT & SAT. Proper preparation can help boost scores which could potentially help to cut the college costs. It is recommended that students take these tests multiple times to get the score they desire. The higher the score, the more money your son or daughter could be awarded.

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