Financing college can be a daunting task, especially when you’re confronted with misconceptions about financial aid. These myths can make your goal of attending college seem almost impossible.
However, I’ve put together four common myths related to financial aid and debunked each one to ease any stress you may feel over paying for college. Consider this as your guide to the truth about financial aid from Winona State University to you!
Myth #1: “I won’t be able to afford college unless I take out a bunch of student loans.”
Reality: You have many other options!
Taking out student loans is definitely not your only option when it comes to financing your higher education.
However, if you’re still having trouble making payments after exhausting other alternatives, there are several student loan types to consider:
- Federal direct loans (subsidized and unsubsidized)
- Federal PLUS loan
- Optional alternative loans
- WSU short-term loans
Utilizing student loans should be your last resort, especially if you can get free money for college, courtesy of Winona State! Because who wants to have the stress of paying them back hanging over your head? Not you, silly!
Myth #2: “There’s no point in applying for small scholarships.”
Reality: Remember when I mentioned free money? No, you weren’t dreaming! Scholarships offered by WSU are basically free money that can sometimes even be renewed!
Here are just a few scholarships Winona State has to offer:
- Outstanding Academic Honor Awards
- Music, Art & Theatre
- Intercollegiate Athletics
- Unrestricted Scholarships
The WSU Foundation Scholarships also offer close to 1,000 scholarships each year, with the help of the Winona State University Foundation and private donors. Here are some examples:
- American Society for Quality Scholarship
- Accounting Alumni Scholarship
- College of Liberal Arts Scholarship
Knowing this, it’s important to consider scholarships that offer any amount, not just the few that are worth thousands.
Small scholarships can add up fast! Think about it… even that $100 scholarship can cover some textbook expenses, which means a hundo in savings for you!
Myth #3: “All scholarships require long essays that I don’t have time to write.”
Reality: While many scholarships ask for an essay, some are much easier to apply for than you might think!
Some scholarships may just ask that you:
- Meet the listed criteria
- Submit a letter of recommendation
Winona State offers so many scholarships, you’re bound to find at least a few that you meet the criteria for.
Myth #4: “There’s no point in filling out the FAFSA.”
Reality: According to the Federal Student Aid website, the FSA is “the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation.” The website also states that the FSA distributes nearly $120 billion in funds every year.
This means that nearly every student is eligible for some sort of aid that’s free to apply for!
It’s important to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid as soon as it opens, which is Oct. 1. The faster you submit this application, the more aid you could qualify for.
Financing college can be intimidating when you don’t have all the facts. But the good news is, you have tons of options.
So don’t let these myths and others like them alarm you. Winona State has your back!
– Brooklynn Howell