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Common Myths

Don’t Assume! Ask Questions!

“I can't afford college” or “My family doesn't make enough money.” FALSE!

TRUTH - Everyone can afford to go to college!

TRUTH - There is aid out there to help everyone go to college - literally everyone, from any family.

And the earlier you apply, the more aid you will be eligible for - there is much more grant or scholarship aid out there than most people know about. Colleges want to help you with aid: federal and state aid, aid from colleges, work study, scholarships, etc. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA) and reach out to the college of your choice to figure out how to attend for the least amount of money. Get everything in before the deadlines.

“The FAFSA is only for federal aid" FALSE!

TRUTH - FAFSA is generally used and required for ALL types of financial aid: federal aid, state aid, aid from colleges and many scholarships - even athletic scholarships. 

Fill it out as soon as possible!

“They will make me take out loans.” FALSE!

TRUTH - You will never be forced to take out loans. Small loans may help you pay for college, but you or your family never have to take out loans.

You may be offered loans - but NONE of them will be mandatory / you do not have to take them. You or your family would have to sign for loans before you would take them. If you have any questions on loans, ask your counselor or ask us. You can also ask the college's Financial Aid office if there is an alternative to loans that are being offered.

“I didn’t get the aid I wanted from one college, so other colleges will likely give me the same answer.” FALSE!

TRUTH - Every college has different amounts of money available for aid, so keep asking. You may find more at a different college.

If a college has offered a financial aid package that is all that is available. FALSE!

TRUTH - Sometimes colleges may offer more aid if you tell them you really want to go there.

You also can always apply for more scholarships outside of the college. Some students also pick up new scholarships sophomore or junior year - you won't get it if you don't apply.

“The FAFSA is too hard to fill out.” FALSE!

TRUTH - It will take some time but you can receive SO much in aid and scholarships!

The FAFSA can get you the most amount of aid available. It is usually the only way to get a lot of aid. So, it is well worth the time. It will take a while to fill out, but it can be worth BIG money. (If you discover something else that can get you $5,000 to $10,000, fill it out, too.) You can receive up to $6,495 in federal aid, plus state aid, work study, college aid and scholarships! Have problems completing the FAFSA? Ask for help from your college financial aid office, your high school counselor or us. You will be glad you filled it out.

“My grades (or my student’s) aren't good enough to receive financial aid.” FALSE!

TRUTH - Aid and Scholarships often focus on Financial Need not grades.

There is no minimum GPA required for all aid. Scholarships target all sort of different student groups, and many are mainly focused on need. Talk to the financial aid office at the college to learn about which scholarships would be best for you. Also, talk with your HS counselor and check out our scholarship page or ideas!

“I have already completed my FAFSA, so I don’t need to do it again.” FALSE!

TRUTH - You need to fill out the FAFSA every year you are enrolled in college.

“If I wait until February to apply for college, it won’t matter.” FALSE!

TRUTH - The Earlier you apply the Better!

Every college has different deadlines for scholarships and aid from the college. Some may be filled by the end of October or November. Check their websites. Most merit-based scholarships applications are due Dec. 1, so if you wait until February, you will not have a chance to get these monies. Deadlines may differ for different scholarships at the same college. 

“The ACT is optional this year, so taking it won't help.” FALSE!

TRUTH - Ask the financial aid office at the college you are interested in. Many scholarships still require the ACT or SAT, and a minimum score. The ACT is often used to decide who qualifies for scholarships, so don't assume you don't need to take it.

“It is too late to apply for college.” FALSE!

TRUTH - Every college is different. You can always apply to some college - but watch deadlines. Call the admissions office of the college; they may take applications later than you think! Community colleges often allow you to enroll up to the week before classes begin.

“Small loans are not good to take out for college.” FALSE!

TRUTH - Small is relative. Many students take part-time jobs or work-study jobs to help pay for college. Small loans are often ok, and can help you pursue the path you want, and end up landing a job that can help pay off the loan. Look at the cost of a degree compared to what you are likely to make when you graduate. As always, be realistic.