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Many students are unable to pay for a full school tuition all at once. Financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants can help offset the costs of school. So can student loans.
Unlike “gift aid,” which does not have to be paid back, student loans must be paid back to the lender. There are several types of student loans:
Are student loans considered financial aid? According to the Federal Student Aid office, loans are considered a form of financial aid. It’s important for students and parents to be aware that these must be repaid with interest.
“We always recommend for students to review their own situation and do what is best for them,” says Ted Groff, a financial aid director at Universal Technical Institute (UTI). “If they can complete school without borrowing a dime, that is the best possible situation, but most are not in that position. If they are like most, the UTI Financial Aid team can provide options to help pay for school, and it all starts with completing their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).”10
The FAFSA is an important form for any aspiring student to complete because applicants may be eligible for funds like scholarships and grants, which don’t need to be repaid. Upon completion of the FAFSA, students and their parents also learn about their eligibility for specific federal loans. Terms and conditions of federal loans are set by law and include benefits that private student loans might not offer.
Students can apply for loans whenever there is a gap in funding their tuition or for any education-related expenses, like transportation, housing and food. The federal government reports there are some benefits that federal student loans and federal parent loans offer that private loans don’t typically include. For example:
The federal government also states that private student loans are usually more expensive than federal student loans, which have interest rates typically much lower than those for some credit cards. Other differences may include:
The best way to compare your options is for you and your parents (if you are a dependent student) to fill out the FAFSA to see what financial aid is available. You can talk with your bank or another lender to get additional loan options to see what’s the best fit.
While many students consider school an investment for their future, it is vital to be aware that career income is rarely guaranteed. Paying off student loans on time requires discipline and, of course, the income required to do so. Because of factors like these, Ted has some recommendations.
“Take out only what you need,” Ted says. “Sometimes families will take out every loan that they can to not only cover tuition but living expenses. If that fits their repayment budget, that is fine, but we highly recommend students work a part-time job while in school to help pay for living expenses to keep loan debt as low as possible. The work experience helps in their career job as well, so it is a win-win all the way around.”1
If you don't repay a loan according to its terms, you may default on the loan. Defaulting on a loan can negatively impact your credit report, which can affect your ability to purchase a car or make a down payment on a home. A collection agency may become in charge of collecting your loan payment, which can also add collection fees to what you owe. The federal loan agency may also garnish a portion of your paycheck and withhold a tax refund.
When considering taking out a federal or private student loan, be sure to go over all its terms with the lender. You can also contact the
UTI Financial Aid Department if you have any questions about student loans. Call (800) 834-7308, or find the UTI campus you’re interested in to contact a
school’s Financial Aid Department directly.
If you need any assistance while completing the FAFSA, we’re here to help. You can schedule an appointment with one of our Financial Aid Support Specialists by clicking below or by calling toll-free at (844)-338-0032.
1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.
10) Financial aid, scholarships and grants are available to those who qualify. Awards vary due to specific conditions, criteria and state.
Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.