While at open house, make sure to talk to your financial aid representatives to understand how best to afford your college education. Make a list of questions before you attend open house, such as: How do I apply for scholarships? Are there opportunities for student employment? And, how does the student loan process work? The most effective way to alleviate uncertainty is to look at a college’s entire financial aid package. And there’s no better time to start the financial aid discussion than at an open house. So before, during and after you attend any college open house, here are some helpful pointers.
The Importance of Looking at a College’s Entire Financial Package.
Review a College’s Website
Many of your questions can be answered online. College websites have dedicated financial aid pages, often including a Net Price Calculator to help you calculate your cost of attendance. You can also find information about the admissions process, application deadlines, merit scholarships and financial aid.
You may be surprised to learn just how many scholarship opportunities a private college provides. For instance, 93% of Daemen College undergraduate students receive some form of merit scholarship.
Students who apply to Daemen are considered for one of five scholarship awards based on academic performance, currently ranging from $7,000 to $12,500 for first-year students. The highest performing academic students are invited to compete at Scholars Day for 10 top-tier scholarships, ranging from $15,000 to full tuition.
In addition to merit scholarships, evaluate what other types of assistance are available, such as athletic and visual arts scholarships, or unique opportunities like Daemen’s eSports scholarship. If you are a transfer student, ask about your specific options.
It is essential to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) no matter your financial situation. This application can be completed as early as October 1st and helps many colleges determine the need-based component of your financial aid package.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
If you have a question, just ask! Take advantage of your direct access to financial aid advisors during an open house or campus visit. It’s their job to help you with whatever tuition questions you may have. They’re able to walk you through all of your options including tips on applying for aid, state and federal programs, loan providers and all available scholarships the college has to offer.
Apply to Be Awarded
Once you’ve done your homework and discussed your options with friends and family, apply to your top schools and file the FAFSA. Once accepted, you’ll receive a custom financial aid package from each, which will help you in the decision-making process. Then you’ll be able to more accurately and fairly weigh all of your options and make the best decision based on the many factors that are most important to you.
Private Education Value
Just as you deserve to be treated as more than just a number, comparing tuition costs should be about more than just bottom lines. What majors, clubs and activities are offered? Are there opportunities to build close relationships with faculty? Is the location safe and engaging? Does the school provide career support? What types of housing and dining options are available? Finding the right fit for you, your needs and your goals is why it’s so important to visit the open houses of colleges you’re considering.