Top 4 College Financial Aid Myths
Paying for college is stressful, but knowing how financial aid is awarded can reduce parents' anxiety and also make college more affordable.
Here are four of the biggest financial aid myths:
- Our family can't afford an expensive college.
Don’t make the same mistake half of families do in looking only at price tags when shopping for colleges.
For some families, a $50,000 school will cost less than a public university in their own state. That's because college tuition is priced like airline tickets; some pay full fare and others get discounts.
The average tuition discount at private colleges today is 53.5 percent. At state universities, the discount is 20 percent.
- Private scholarships are the biggest source of college money.
Actually, 41 percent of college grants comes from individual schools themselves. The best way for students to capture scholarships directly from colleges is to earn good grades in high school and take challenging courses. Grades are more important to most colleges than test scores.
- My family won't qualify for financial aid.
Many families wrongly assume that they won't be eligible for financial aid. Even parents who make more than $100,000 can qualify for significant financial aid —tens of thousands of dollars a year —if a child is accepted into an expensive university.
- My child is good enough to earn a sports scholarship.
Many parents hope their student athletes will win full-ride scholarships, but these are extremely rare. Only about two percent of students playing high school sports receive a sports scholarship worth $10,409 on average. Most student athletes receive partial scholarships that can be worth just $2,000 or $3,000.
In reality, many student athletes will capture larger aid packages from colleges by winning academic awards.
Union Plus Education Services Can Help Union Families
If you have more questions about planning for college or need help affording it, visit UnionPlus.org/Education. Union Plus provides scholarships, discounts on college test (e.g. SAT/ACT) preparation, education grants and much more.