Why Pay Back Loans When You Can Get Scholarships

stephanie 1By Stephanie Lyte

Students often face financial hardships when federal student aid is not enough to meet the rising cost of a college education. Millions of dollars are offered annually in scholarships and grants; students should apply.

“I think a lot of the students don’t apply for scholarships because they feel like it’s a waste of time,” said Nick James, a College of Southern Nevada financial-aid student advisor. Some students don’t apply because they think thousands of other students are competing for the same scholarships, which typically isn’t the case, according to James. He suggests applying for every opportunity.

“The federal Pell Grant allowed me to go back to school,” said Angela Simms, first year CSN student. She does not know where to begin when it comes to requesting additional funds for her college education. “It’s hard enough trying to pick classes on your own; finding more money to pay for school is such a chore.”

CSN has a financial aid department that can assist students.

Cathy Wand, administrative assistant at CSN’s financial aid office, stressed how important it was that students fill out their free application for financial student aid, commonly referred to as FAFSA, as soon as possible to ensure a thorough review of their financial needs.

“If students need assistance in filling out this application, the financial aid representative’s onsite are able to lend a hand,” Wand said. When students fill out FAFSA they are considered for aid in addition to grants. Scholarships require students to take extra steps.

Scholarships and grants are a great way to pay for college education as they do not have to be repaid. Some scholarships are based on need while others are not. They are typically awarded by nongovernmental agencies and private organizations.

“Wow I honestly didn’t know of all of the scholarships that were available to me,” said Sasha Winder, CSN student. “I wish I had known of these resources for previous semesters.”

The National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education said student aid is increasing year to year. Per the April 2014 report, 79 percent of students attending two-year institutions receive financial aid. This is an increase of 12 percent from 2006 to 2012. Upwards of 94 percent of students attending private institutions receive financial aid.

CSN’s financial aid department is ready to help. See this link for information on the call center, scholarships, grants and other resources http://www.csn.edu/pages/3328.asp.

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