College is expensive, and surviving the financial woes it presents can be just as difficult as achieving an A in organic chemistry or advanced physics. Often times, the academic progress of college students is disrupted by unforeseen problems that hinder their ability to pay for tuition. Perhaps mom or dad lost a job, or your college savings simply aren’t enough. But if you do your homework and utilize the available resources, you’ll pass the financial “test” and continue on your path to educational achievement.
When circumstances become dire and your classes are on the verge of being purged, take a trip to your college’s financial aid office and inquire about an emergency loan – it exists specifically for these kinds of situations. Of course, you’ll be required to document your reason for need in order to prove that you really deserve aid; whether or not it’s deemed legitimate will be decided by the department. You’ll also need to fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form if you haven’t already, which will ask about information pertaining to your parent’s yearly income. Typically, eligibility is affected by your academic standing and GPA, and you must be a full-time student. The total amount that you’re given depends on what you need, but there is a maximum amount that you can borrow.
If you’re unable to obtain an emergency loan, or if it’s simply not enough, consider every other possible avenue. For example, if you have a generous grandparent who’s financially stable and you know wouldn’t hesitate to help you out, put aside your pride and ask for money. You can pay them back in the future when your account is once again full. If you have a savings account that you’ve deemed untouchable, perhaps it’s time to reconsider. See if there are any scholarships offered by the campus organizations of which you’re a member or by your parents’ places of work – many big corporations have scholarship programs for the children of their employees. Another option as a last resort is to use your credit card. In the short-term, you’ll stay enrolled, but in the long-term you’ll face high payments due to interest charges. Of course, the repercussions have to be weighed against the value of your education. It’ll be easier to payoff lenders when you have a steady income as a result of your college degree.