What Does a Financial Aid Advisor Do?
One of the most vital jobs at a higher education institution is that of financial aid advisor. There’s no doubt that any kind of higher education is expensive, whether it is at a 2-year community college, a four year college or university, a distance learning institution or even a trade school. The vast majority of students require some type of financial aid, and an advisor helps them through the application and approval process. They provide counseling on all the different types of financial help available. This usually starts with federal financial aid.
The U.S. Department of Education provides loans and grants to many students. Advisors nearly always direct students to start with federal aid before they go other routes. The first step is to complete a FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Aid. This form can be concluded and submitted online. Once approved, an advisor sits down with the student and goes over the different types of federal aid they have been approved for. The first loan a student usually gets is the Stafford Loan. Advisors clarify this loan and how it works to the student.
Stafford loans are given to most each student. The maximum amount awarded depends on the grade level of the student. There are subsidized and unsubsidized loans, which are based on financial criteria. With a subsidized Stafford loan, the interest that is accrued is paid by the government until the student leaves school, which is when they start paying on the loan and the interest. With an unsubsidized Stafford loan, the interest is paid by the student each month. This loan is not enough to cover an entire college education, so an advisor will go over the next recommended federal loan or grant.
Perkins loans are awarded to students with a high level of financial need. These loans are given on a first-come-first-serve basis, and assets are limited. The assets are given to the school by the government, therefore the student gets their Perkins loan from the school rather than the government even though the government provides the assets. If you want to apply for this loan your advisor will tell you to do so as soon as possible.
A financial advisor will also help you get grants, which are assets that never have to be repaid. There are private grants and federal grants like the Pell grant. There are also private grants available, as well as scholarships. Some scholarships are merit based, some are need based, and some have to do with one’s gender, race, nationality or area of interest. The Internet is a fantastic source if you want to look up information on scholarships, but your financial detective can help you also.
|Report: Seven in 10 students graduate from college with loans; average debt on . - Washington Post|
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