The first and most important thing a student thinks about when getting ready to go off to college is, “How much does it cost?” According to CollegeBoard.com, a website oriented around preparing students for the steps needed to attend college, the average cost of tuition and fees has increased by just over six percent for both private and public universities.
When you already consider that the average amount of debt a student is in after graduation is around $30,000, this increase is a big deal for anyone.
For many students, without the help of financial aid, just providing transportation to get to school may not even be an option.
Yuba College offers a variety of financial aid benefits for students in need. Any type of financial aid may not be taken into consideration until students have completed their FAFSA or Free Application for Student Aid.
The first and most basic of these aids is known as the BOGW, or Board of Governors Fee Waiver. This is a type of state aid which, if awarded, completely waives the cost of tuition and any student service fees, as well as the cost of your semester parking pass. This does not, however, have any effect on the cost of books, transportation, or other miscellaneous costs of attending school.
To apply for the BOGW, you must be a California resident, due to the fact that this is state aid, but it also has two methods by which a student may be eligible after the fact.
The first method, Method A, is not based necessarily on income, but the special needs of the student. Some of these criteria include being a dependent of a disabled veteran and being eligible for types of welfare.
If the student is not eligible for Method A, Method B is taken into consideration. This method is based on household size and total income for the last year. If the student’s household size in correspondence with a specific amount of income is lower than the cutoff, the student will be eligible for the BOGW.
There will be times when a student is not eligible for either method. However, many students who do not qualify are still in great need of financial aid.
Apart from the state-aided BOGW, Yuba College offers access to many federal grants and scholarships. One of these is the Pell Grant.
A federal grant, unlike a loan, does not ever have to be repaid. According to the YCCD Financial Aid website, Pell Grants are generally awarded to undergraduates without any type of bachelor’s or professional degree.
This type of aid can be a huge relief for many students struggling to pay their way through school. The only real hassle with the Pell Grant is the long process that one must go through to determine eligibility.
First, as with all financial aid, the student must complete a FAFSA. The FAFSA, once mailed, can take up to six weeks to process. After that, the parents of the student, if the student is still below the age of twenty-four, must submit information to determine an EFC, or Expected Family Contribution number.
This number, accompanied by a student’s SAR, or Student Aid Report, produces a formula used to determine eligibility. After eligibility and amount of need are determined, the school itself will distribute the money to the student.
Despite all the financial aid benefits Yuba College offers, many students in need still find themselves ineligible.
This can be due to the information on a student’s FAFSA. The rule stating that a student’s parent’s tax information must still be taken into consideration when applying for grants puts many students at a disadvantage. Many times, after a student has moved out of the home, a parent will no longer assist them in their finances.
A full-time student who can only work a part-time job must pay for such things as rent, food, gas, tuition, books, bills and other personal expenses. Even if parents do not help in any way, the parents’ FAFSA information is still a factor, leaving many poor students lost for what to do about money for school.
In other cases, some parents have lost jobs, or had some other dramatic change in how much money they make. When applying for financial aid, the information on a FAFSA must be tax information from the previous year. Even if a parent or student had a well-paying job and then was fired or laid off just before the school year, the information from the well-paying job would be used to determine financial need. This puts so many students in bad spots, particularly those who are adamant about going to school. It’s these students who will put themselves into financial hardship to ensure they receive the education they desire.
Many students complain about the lengthy process of receiving financial aid money. Many students at Yuba College go two months into the semester without receiving any financial aid that they will actually be approved for.
Students have complained about not being able to afford books right away, starting out poorly in their classes, and having no other option than to drop.
Even if students utilize the library, the amount of time one can have a book is limited, and the full potential of the student in repressed.
If students get to the point where they’ve exhausted all of their financial aid options through the school and are still not eligible, Yuba College offers specific federal loans to help pay for college.
Federal student loans are far more convenient than private loans due to the fact that they offer lower interest rates and friendlier repayment methods.
Yuba College offers Federal Direct Loans that are either subsidized or unsubsidized Stafford loans. Loans can be a wonderful way not only to pay for school but to put yourself into a better position to excel in school.
Always check with the Financial Aid office before looking for financial help outside of school. You will never know what kind of help you can get unless you try.