I was lucky enough to get financial aid my first few years of college, but in my senior year I was notified that I didn’t receive any financial aid. This sent me spiraling into desperation because I was relying on the help. Once I finally stopped crying, I started figuring out what I could do to get through the year. If you find yourself in a similar situation, whether you hardly received any aid or none at all, here’s what to do if you lose your financial aid.
1. Contact the financial aid office
This is what to do if you lose your financial aid first. Figure out the reason you didn’t get the financial aid you were expecting and make sure if you apply again the next year, you know what you should do, or perhaps avoid, so you don’t fall into this problem again. You can go to on your FAFSA and fill out a special circumstance form if you think you made a mistake on your form or if there is a valid enough reason for them to reconsider. You can also look into applying the next year as an independent on your FAFSA.
2. Apply for scholarships
This is always a great option for getting money for college, and if you have time and patience, you can find specific scholarships that will fit you. The best place to look for scholarships that are more realistic and easily won can be found at local libraries and organizations in your hometown or college town. Don’t hesitate to ask your department or advisor if there are major/minor specific scholarships you can apply for. Sadly, most scholarships that you apply for online, at websites like scholarship.com, are a gamble.
Getting a job if you don’t already have one is a really good option, since every penny can help. This may mean you have to cut out other extracurricular activities and/or settle for a lower grade, as long as you aren’t failing. C’s get degrees.
4. Take the bus and eat bulk foods
Having a car at school and paying for gas can be expensive, so take the bus or get a ride from roommates. Chances are you have to pay for a bus pass with your school ID whether you take the bus or not, so why not make the most of it! Also, shop for cheaper groceries; many healthy options like produce are often cheaper than packaged foods anyways. Another good tip is to buy non-perishable foods (canned soups, cereal, etc.) in bulk.
5. Take out a loan
This is not the best option, but is probably essential. Ask your parents if they’ll help you co-sign a loan. If they won’t, make an appointment with your school’s financial aid officer and see what loans you can get from the school or a local bank. Most local banks require a good credit score to get loans, so keep in mind that getting a credit card to build credit might be a viable option. Find a good private loan and compare your options here.
6. Take a break from school
Consider taking a quarter or semester off to work. If you still can’t make enough to afford your school, look at other schools or consider taking more time off and going back when you have enough money to afford it.
Did this help if you were wondering what to do if you lose your financial aid? Let us know down below!
Feature image source:healthyheels.com
Autumn Echols is a student at Washington State University majoring in advertising at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication and minoring in Fine Arts. Autumn loves the autumn time, Pinterest, fashion, advocating for feminism, and relaxing with her friends, her boyfriend, and anything cute and fuzzy.