Did this Pandemic affect your savings? Here is how you can still afford your college fee! One of the most important and the basic step that the experts recommend is to complete the signing up of Free Application for Federal Student Aid, called FAFSA. Here we will see how to afford college in this pandemic situation. And know some easy ways to pay for college in this pandemic.
Impact of Pandemic on Economy
The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. may lead to an even greater strain among families to afford the cost of college, as many Americans are unemployed or face medical costs associated with the virus.
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How to Pay for College?
On an average, U.S. families spent $30,017 on college costs in academic year 2019-2020. To ease the burden of paying for college, families should start by completing the FAFSA, which opens on October 1st each year. Here we will see some different ways to pay for college. But in addition to this important first step, there are a few other overlooked ways to pay for college and some new options created in response to the pandemic that families should consider:
529 College Savings Plan
Parent income and savings covered the largest portion of total college costs, about 44% or $13,072 on average. College 529 savings plans, offer an opportunity for families to grow their savings tax-free if the money is spent on qualified educational expenses, were used to pay a greater percentage of college costs than other savings options like non-college savings accounts and retirement accounts. Data from the study shows families with a higher income covered a higher percent of college costs using a college savings plan like a 529.
Scholarships and Grants
In 2019-2020, college paying students received an average of $7,626 in scholarships and grants to cover about 25% of the total cost of college.
Students who complete the FAFSA are considered for state and institutional scholarships as well as the federal Pell Grant, a form of financial aid aimed at the lowest-income families and that does not have to be repaid. Additionally, families can look for scholarships at local nonprofits and other organizations. And students can seek out local scholarships, which are typically smaller in size but less competitive than national scholarships.
Many colleges are offering emergency grants to students in response to the spread of COVID-19. Some of these are federal funds are coming from Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. More money may come to support students struggling in the wake of the pandemic.
Financial Aid Appeals
The FAFSA uses “prior year” information to determine a family’s financial need. For example, the 2021-2022 FAFSA that students can file beginning in October will be based on 2019 federal tax returns. However, families who have had a recent change in their financial situation that would not be reflected in their 2019 financial information can request a financial aid appeal, sometimes called a professional judgment, from a college.
Student Income and Savings
Getting a part-time job may have been a strong strategy to pay for college 20 years ago, but since college costs have increased so dramatically in that time, student income and savings only covered on average 8% – about $2,303 – of a student’s college costs in 2019-2020.
Still, every penny toward college counts, so a part-time or summer job may help make costs more manageable.
Education is important in ones life and not to ignore even in the times of pandemic. It helps the person to shape their future. Spending on Education is not an expense but an investment for future. And nothing to scare about. These are simple ways to pay for college. Read about related article on college planner.