FINANCING COLLEGE: UNDERSTANDING OPTIONS
While today's economy can make it challenging for families to fund higher education, studies show that a college degree is a solid investment and is considered to be a minimum requirement for most well-paying jobs.
For decades, Baldwin Wallace has earned praise for its commitment to helping families afford their student's college education.
The majority of students receive some form of financial aid. Understanding and assessing options can help you make the right choices.
Types of Student Aid
Scholarships can be based on academic merit, extracurricular involvement, leadership, talent and/or other factors. Scholarships do not require repayment.
While the criteria of each grant can differ, federal and state grants, as well as BW grants, are awarded to students based on need, residency and/or other factors. Grants do not require repayment.
Federally backed low interest loans can be subsidized or unsubsidized. Private education loans are available to students with a co-signer to help meet their cost of education.
Federal Work-Study provides students with the opportunity to work on campus 10-15 hours a week, for which they can earn a paycheck to help with college expenses.
BW's Financial Aid staff is available to answer questions and help you assess financing options. Contact them if your family's household income or status changes. This may include work or income-related losses, having an additional family member residing at home and/or having a health issue that severely impacts your finances.
Don't assume your student will receive the same aid package every year. Because you must apply for financial aid every year, a student's aid package does change each year, especially if there have been changes to your family's income, family size and the number of students in college. You can access your renewal application online with the student FSA ID.
Remind your student of the financial implications of grades. BW merit-based scholarships are renewable each year (for up to four years or eight semesters) if a student maintains good academic and social standing. A student who does not maintain this standing can lose scholarship funding. Likewise, other sources of BW financial aid, such as grants, can be lost or reduced because of low academic achievement.
If you need to borrow, always choose to take Federal Direct Student Loans first because private education loans have a higher interest rate and can require repayment while in school.
Changes to your student's status do effect when student loans require repayment. When a student leaves college (even if he/she plans to return) or drops below half-time enrollment, the six-month grace period for student loan repayment begins. Before making any enrollment changes, a student should contact BW's Financial Aid Office.
Be alert for scams relating to financial assistance and/or scholarships. According to the Federal Trade Commission, be wary of letters, emails or phone calls that:
- ask you to provide credit card or social security information
- have a scholarship guarantee or "your money back"
- claim to have privileged information that can help you
- say your student is a finalist in a contest he or she never entered