Should I Hire A Financial Aid Advisor?
Dealing with the financial aid aspect of college is overwhelming for many students and parent, but the good news is that using a financial aid advisor can help. Financial aid advisors are trained professionals who are employed by a college to help students and parents answer any and all questions regarding the financial aid process. They can help you take advantage of all your resources when it comes to loans, grants and scholarships and they can also help you understand any forms or award letters related to your personal financial aid.
Developing a good relationship with your financial aid counselor is extremely important. They can help you with any forms or questions from the beginning to the end of your college career. Financial aid applications can be very confusing, when you first start the financial aid process you will have to fill out a FAFSA and you might have to fill out multiple loan and scholarship applications depending on your needs. Financial aid advisors can help you fill out these types of financial aid forms if you get stuck or confused and they can also educate you on how to get the best interest rate for your federal and private loans which can save you a lot of money. If you were to blindly apply for loans through private banks without the advice of your financial aid counselor you may end up paying thousands of dollars more.
Another area that your financial aid advisor can help you with is scholarships. Most financial aid offices have a book of scholarships that are internal and external to the college. Hunting for scholarships on your own can be frustrating and time consuming. Your financial aid advisor would be a great resource to save you time and effort when it comes to finding a list of scholarships that you would be eligible for.
In addition to find you financial resources, your college financial aid counselor is very well trained in answering any type of financial aid question or concern that you may have. If you are having trouble understanding your individual college financial aid award they can sit down with you and explain each piece in detail. They can also show you how to keep an organized file for all your loan and scholarship applications and also for your interest statements when they start coming in the mail. Keeping track of all your financial aid records will be very helpful if you need them for reference when you meet with your financial aid advisor.
Going through college without a financial aid advisor would be like going through surgery without a doctor. In all reality, it would be unwise and nearly impossible to sort out your financial aid issues without someone who is an expert in the field. It would be a good habit to meet with your financial aid advisor at the beginning of every semester to make sure you are both on the same page and that you do not have any questions or problems. Meeting with your financial aid advisor frequently will ensure that your financial plan is running smoothly and according to plan throughout your college career.