Despite the common misconception, colleges and universities aren’t out there to make you broke and leave you with a ton of debt. The truth is that most schools are willing to work with their students and their families to find viable solutions for any financial concerns or problems. Whether it’s a grant, scholarship, or other bursary and payment options, they are worth considering as they can help cover the costs of your child’s education and future. The more information you can gather, the better. To get you started, here are 10 scholarship and bursary questions every parent should ask:
1. Do Government Student Loans Cover all Expenses Associated with College or University Studies?
This is an excellent question, and the answer you receive will be dependent on the area in which your child is attending school. However, generally speaking, government student loans, such as OSAP (Ontario Student Assistant Program) are designed to help with the costs. In other words, they are not designed to completely cover them, and are only a supplement to the expected costs.
2. What Other Types of Financial Aid are Available?
There certainly isn’t a shortage of available financial aid options. However, it can take some time to find them. Some are highly advertised and easy to come across, but you must also consider that the more popular they are, the more applicants there will be. Financial aids often have a limit to the amount they can contribute, and as such, the number of applicants they can provide financial assistance to. It is highly recommended to invest some time into researching all available scholarships, grants and other bursary options available. The more your child can find and apply for, the better.
There are also some financial aid programs that provide more than just monetary value. For example, some offer bursary assistance as well as a work study program, which helps students cover the costs of post secondary education. These work programs are often on campus and favourable to the student’s school schedule and study requirements.
3. When is the Application Deadline?
Each financial aid option will have its own deadline, so, this is an incredibly important question to seek the answer to for each and every financial aid program your child is considering. Write the name of the financial aid and application deadline on a calendar to ensure all requirements are met and submitted prior to the due date. Although, the earlier the application is submitted won’t affect whether or not someone is declined. It’s more important to submit a full, high quality and completed application.
4. If I Make $(XX,XXX), Will my Child Qualify for Financial Aid?
It’s a common misconception that the higher the household income is, the less chances a prospective student has of obtaining financial aid. However, the eligibility of financial aid isn’t solely based on the parents’ gross income, and there are many additional factors that come into play. Many financial aid programs will also consider the number of dependents in the house and if the student will be living at home, on campus or off campus, etc. Furthermore, each financial aid may have different qualifications, so it’s important to seek the answer to this question based on the specific financial assistance your child is seeking.
Additionally, many government student loans don’t consider a family’s personal loan.
5. What is Required for Scholarships and Other Bursary Options?
Each bursary option will have its own set of requirements. Some simply require a submission fee, whereas others also require an essay. Some require you to have completed so many hours of community work, whereas others will require that the student is studying in a specific field. Some are specific to orientation, whereas others are a free-for-all. It depends on the individual scholarship being sought. Needless to say, it’s highly important to read the requirements of each.
As parents, you want to be able to investment fully into your child’s future and education. However, this can be quite expensive and isn’t always a viable option for every family out there. Fortunately, financial aid is an option, and there are many scholarships, grants, student loans, and programs available that can help cover the costs of furthering your child’s education.