An Education Resource Review by Rhonda Campbell
Since its launch in June of 1994, FinAid has garnered commendations from a variety of respected periodicals, including the Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times and the New York Daily News. The praise is due, in large part, to the fact that FinAid offers free advice, lists of organizations providing financial aid to college students and guidance on ways college students can lower their out-of-pocket expenses, saving money while they attend top accredited post-secondary schools.
To start, using FinAid’s FastWeb Scholarship Search, high school and college students can use a drop-down box to search for more than 1.5 million scholarships administered by public and privately owned organizations located throughout the United States. As a time saver, scholarships can be searched for according to college major (e.g. biology, military technologies, architecture, legal studies). Applications, guidelines for individual scholarships, including application deadlines are provided at FinAid, saving students and parents hours of research effort and time.
In addition to providing details on relevant scholarships, some covering the full cost of tuition for up to four years, FinAid helps eligible students learn how to apply for military aid and student loans. For example, armed forces recruiting programs, the GI Bill and the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act of 2003 are covered. There’s no need to hunt for links to military aid programs as FinAid includes links to several military aid resources at their website.
Benefits Gained While Visiting FinAid
Another plus at FinAid is their student loan calculator, the very tool many students forget to use until they near graduation and have to start repaying their student loans. FinAid gives students a brief overview of Stafford and Perkins student loans as well as Federal Direct PLUS loans. Current interest rates applicable to each loan are also provided. As with other financial aid data provided by FinAid, students are given a clear picture of the amount (e.g. interest rate percentages, loan volume, dollar totals) of debt that has historically been created via student loans. There are no gimmicks or sales pitches at the site, just the facts and lots of advice.
Other types of financial aid covered at FinAid include employer tuition assistance programs, free scholarship lotteries and college grants and other aid. Furthermore, aid for undergraduate and graduate college programs are covered.
Not only can students and parents use the loan calculator at FinAid free of charge, they can also contact an Aid Advisor to get answers to additional financial aid questions they may have. As you can see, there’s a wealth of information at FinAid, the type of information that’s often at the forefront of students’ and parents’ minds, the type of information that can save families hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars each year. The material is presented in an inviting, credible and easy to understand style, just what busy teens and adults want.