Steamboat Springs High School's college and career adviser Gayle Dudley discusses the responsibilities of students and their parents in securing financial aid for college.

Photo by Brian Ray

Steamboat Springs High School's college and career adviser Gayle Dudley discusses the responsibilities of students and their parents in securing financial aid for college.

Aid can make or break college choice

Federal financial assistance often key to selection of institution of higher education

Advertisement

On the 'Net

For more information about FAFSA and to fill out the free application for Federal Student Aid online, visit www.fafsa.ed.gov

— The college application process never seems to end, according to Gayle Dudley, Steamboat Springs High School's career and college adviser.

While steps such as embarking on college visits, filling out admission applications and taking standardized tests have been completed by most Steamboat seniors, Dudley said one crucial application step still awaits many students - securing students loans.

The financial student aid process begins with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, a requirement for any student looking to qualify for need-based federal financial aid.

"The federal government evaluates each student who submits a FAFSA application," Dudley said. She noted that students will receive a Student Aid Report that summarizes information reported, including the student's family's Expected Family Contribution, which is used by schools to determine an applicant's financial aid award.

"The kids from Steamboat are evaluated the same as kids from New York City or kids from Mississippi," she said. "With that information, schools will decide what kind of financial aid the student is going to get."

In addition to FAFSA, students also have the option to apply for institutional aid, need-based aid and private student loans. Dudley said she tries to educate students and parents about all student loan and scholarship options.

"Many of the parents in our area don't apply for FAFSA because they feel like they make too much money," she said. "What I tell them is that they may not get any money, but I can guarantee them they won't get any if they don't apply, because FAFSA is required by every college before they give out any funding."

In regards to student loans that must be repaid, Dudley also tries to explain to students the repercussions of taking out loans.

"I try to sit them down and ask them, 'How do you or your family feel about debt?'" she said. "That is one of the first things they have to decide. : One of the things I tell kids about college loans is that it's their debt, it's not their parents' debt. The loans come to the kids."

Dudley said many students don't understand that choosing to attend a private or out-of-state school may have more lasting effects on their lives than going to a cheaper, in-state public school.

She said college loans typically start arriving nine months after graduating college, which Dudley said could affect post-collegiate travel or work plans.

"A lot of them have not had much of a discussion with their parents about how they are going to pay for this," she said. "You want to go to a $40,000-a-year school, how are you going to pay for it?"

Senior Andy Mucklow said he's not sure whether he'll apply for student loans, but he applied for federal financial aid to ensure that he's eligible for any money colleges might use to attract him.

"I applied for it because it's free money, and free money is an awesome thing," he said. "It's kind of intimidating because if you get bad results back, it means you are not going to get any money."

Senior Margot Binnetti said she also filled out a FAFSA form.

"It's pretty important because it can make or break where you end up choosing to go," she said.

Comments

grannyrett 6 years, 7 months ago

Oregon does that too. Welfare mom's can get an education and support themselves and their families. What a concept! Shows where the powers that be place their priorities. We will have uneducated children, but they will have pretty parks to play in.

0

80488mom 6 years, 7 months ago

While lottery money in Colorado goes towards parks and open space it goes towards education in New Mexico. If a graduate from a New Mexico High School has a 2.5 average they qualify for a lottery scholarship which can be used to attend any college or university in NM. Of course you can't just relocate for the senior year. There are long term residency requirements. There are additional scholarships available depending upon performance that will cover books and room and board.

The thought is their children are their future. What a concept.

0

corduroy 6 years, 6 months ago

I wish someone had talked to me about how going to college and having student loans would be my debt. Growing up my dad paid for pretty much everything, even if I had a job. 4 years at a private school equated to $22k in student loan debt. Not quite a mortgage amount but amazingly ridiculus IMHO Going BACK to school is another story. I'm essentially getting deeper in the hole in the hopes I'll make more money and enjoy what I'm doing more than what my first degree was in..

Also.. high school seniors.. you don't HAVE to start college right away. If you aren't sure, don't be pressured. I wish I'd taken the time to figure out what I really want to go to school for first..

0

OnTheBusGus 6 years, 6 months ago

I joined the military to pay for my school. Sure wasn't the easiest way to get school paid for but it was effective. No student loans and lots of life experience and discipline. Of course that "field trip" overseas wasn't the best but still... no student loan!

0

bloggyblog 6 years, 6 months ago

blog hopes the college advisor is making potential college bound students aware of the multitude of grants available. start applying for every grant you qualify for ,as early as possible. it never hurts to try.

0

justathought 6 years, 6 months ago

"I applied for it because it's free money, and free money is an awesome thing," he said." THAT is the kind of attitude that ticks me off, where the hell do you think "free money" comes from? I believe in making no interest student loans available, I believe in academic scholarships, I believe in helping those that help themselves, not the ones that want a free ride. If college kids are our future, quit giving away athletic scholarships, this country's future doesn't depend on another $50 million basketball player! I expect students subsidized by my tax dollar NOT to protest where my country's marine corps does their recruiting. We need standards of conduct for any student using public funds, they're there to learn, not to party every night, protest this country's military or protest to make political statements. I know you have a right to freedom of speech, do it on your own damn dime.

0

bloggyblog 6 years, 6 months ago

blog thinks somebody hit justathought with the 'bitter stick' today. you seem to be making quite a few assumptions based on one sentence made by a highschool student. in blogs opinion, you misinterpreted the quote anyway.

0

justathought 6 years, 6 months ago

"You want to go to a $40,000-a-year school, how are you going to pay for it?" ..."he's not sure whether he'll apply for student loans, but he applied for federal financial aid", I applied for it because it's free money, and free money is an awesome thing,", "It's kind of intimidating because if you get bad results back, it means you are not going to get any money." JUST WHAT DID I MISINTERPRET?

steamboatsconscience = sorry if I upset you, I did not realize that you were the only one allowed to have an opinion.

Token, it doesn't matter where I live, free federal money doesn't just come from Hayden taxpayers.

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.