Finding financial aid for college depends on your financial situation. For first year students, the amount of student aid you can get in the form of a student loan depends on your parents’ income. When you apply for financial aid for college, there is a certain formula that is applied to determine how much money parents are expected to contribute to your education. Quite often parents cannot afford to pay the full amount of tuition, books, rent and other living expenses you will need. The student loan process does not take mortgage payments and other expenses into account.
When you apply for financial aid for college, you have to specify the name of the college you plan to attend, the type and length of program and in some instances you have to provide a cost sheet from the college to prove that you do need a certain amount of money. You also have to give your work history for the past four years and are expected to save a portion of the money you earn to put towards your college expenses. In addition, you also give the student aid office the permission to look at your income tax returns so they can verify income.
You are allowed to make a certain amount of money before any monies are deducted from the amount you qualify for under government student aid programs. If you are married, your spouse’s income has to be included in the application. If you have dependents, this makes a difference and in the case of parent contribution, having two or more children in college at the same time means that all of them qualify for the full amount of government financial aid. Even with the full amount of student aid, many students need to have part-time jobs or rely on their parents for money because they do not receive enough money for everything they need.
Many financial institutions have a student loan program that you can apply for, but you do need to have a co-signer, whether this is a parent or a spouse. Some student loans require that you pay the interest while still in school, and then once graduated, make payments on the remaining balance. Other student loans require no payments at all until the student is out of school for 6 months.