Students who are seniors in high school and plan on attending college in the fall, now is that time to, according to Keuka’s Financial Aid Office:
With that in mind, you might be feeling a little lost, or a bit overwhelmed. If you haven’t already visited Keuka’s Financial Aid Page, then now is the time to do so. I researched some online opportunities for finding outside funding, and I also spoke with Keuka’s financial aid director, Jen Bates. Here is what I found:
At this point in the game, if students need more money, there are plenty of outside funding options available. “Click the grants and scholarships link right on our website and look for the list at the bottom,” Jen told me. “Those are the ones we recommend.” My personal favorite is scholarship.com. The initial set up of an account took me about ten minutes, but the information you fill out is important because it helps the site assess what you are eligible for. But don’t get lazy. While indeed a lot of outside funding might only come in spurts of around $250, as Jen put it, “Every $100 helps.” When I asked her how many students did come in with outside funding, she told me that a lot do, but a lot more could as well.
While college comes with plenty more expenses than the ones that occupy your student bill–tuition, room and board, and mandatory fees are part of your bill, and books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses are not–it’s helpful to know where financial support is available for the latter expenses. I asked Jen if any sources of outside funding are available to cover personal fees, but she told me that typically, only people who apply for extra loan funds that are higher than the number on the bill receive refund money that can be used for campus wide dollars, dining dollars, or received as extra cash; however, I personally know a few students who, with a combination of scholarships and grant funding, do receive much needed refunds that contribute to books, supplies, and daily living expenses.
If getting money might still be an issue, there are ways of budgeting and being thrifty that can help reduce the overall expenses:
Finally, the deadline for making that final decision is looming ever nearer. Jen told me that May 1st is the universal enrollment deadline. I remember when it came time for me to make my choice, and I had not even received my financial aid package from St. John’s University in Queens where I had received a rather generous scholarship, when I made the decision to go to Keuka. It was most my most financially suitable option by far. But if the choice is not as clear cut as it is for you, you still have about three weeks to contact and sort things out. Furthermore, as Jen reminded me, April 16th is Keuka College’s Spring Open House. For accepted students, it is a valuable resource to come and schedule a visit with billing and financial aid to respond to any last, other, or unanswered questions.
Finally, I’d like to address one more thing that might have parents and students worried: possible federal and state cuts. Jen told me, “We haven’t gotten any information on the Pell Grant tables,” so while the Pell grants (a federal program) is still up in the air, while she admitted that they had not received individual statements yet for the TAP (New York State grant) program, she did tell me that the budget had been passed without any devastating cuts being made.
Overall, getting a good education can mean a lot of money, but, if you play your cards right, it’s an investment well worth your while.