For many students, being awarded financial aid from a school can be a lifesaver. College, as everyone knows, is very, very expensive, and any extra penny helps make it more affordable. However, some decide to forego their full financial award and pay more out of pocket. This may seem ridiculous on the surface, but there are very good reasons to decline any full award that is offered by a school. It is definitely helpful to understand why some decide not to take their full student loan award.
NOT Taking Your Full Student Loan Award
Financial aid awarded by schools nearly always is accompanied by a list of qualifications, both academic and personal, that the assisted student is expected to meet. Usually, financial aid packages given by universities require a minimum GPA a student must meet, as well as a number of credits or hours they have to take each semester. For some students, meeting these requirements won’t even be a challenge. For others, this heaps stress on top of an already nerve-wracking time.
It can be very difficult to meet the standards expected by high-profile financial awards, especially for first-semester freshmen just out of high school. The first semester of college is a trying time for many, both socially and academically. If you accept an award, you are committing to the academic measures required of you. If you don’t achieve them, your award will be taken away. Losing a financial award in the middle of a school year is chaotic and confusing, and it’s best to not have to face this scenario. Unless you’re sure you have the abilities to meet the award’s high standards, it might be best to politely decline.
Reasons to Decline a Financial Aid Reward
There are several additional reasons one might decline a financial award from a school. Sometimes, an award accepted by a student will be counted towards your loan debt by a private lender. In this case, you’ll probably want to forget the award. It’s wouldn’t be worth it or make financial sense to plunge yourself into more debt. In other cases, financial aid packages, specifically work studies, come on the condition that you have to work a part-time job as part of your payment. While, for the most part, the job allows you to do homework and study, it can be distracting. Students sometimes find it’s not worth the academic stress to have to take on a job. In other cases, you might already have a job or prior commitments, making it harder to add another responsibility.
Read the Fine Print
You should never accept a financial award (or anything in general, really) without reading the fine print. While, in many cases, you’ll receive the money promised, additional clauses in your agreement could cause trouble for you down the road, whether academic or financial. Some students choose to avoid the potential for these snags, but others choose to face the problems as they come. It is a personal decision you’ll have to make with the help of your parents. Be sure you have all the information beforehand, and read carefully.
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