Ways to Solve Financial Aid Concerns

via The Florida Tech Crimson
by Allen Hillenbrand

It’s not easy to tell that students are worrying about financial aid and the 4.5 percent increase in tuition, but according to Michele Scott, a financial aid adviser, that is exactly what is happening.

With tuition and fees costing $29,470 for a non-engineering major at Florida Tech, the tuition hike would raise that price $1,326, to $30,796. With a new void to fill in their financial aid packages, students are forced to look elsewhere to come up with the money.

“The best thing to do is to research outside scholarships, they are everywhere, you just have to look for them,” Scott said. With packages generally staying the same, often it would only take one or two small outside scholarships to fill the void, she said.

Often, communities offer scholarships based on community service hours, which are generally easy to fit into your summer schedule. The best place to find out about these scholarships would be to visit your local town’s website.

A part-time job is a great way to gain work experience and money to cover the void in your financial aid package.

“You can always get a job over the summer. I see students who have never had to work before applying for jobs this summer because that is the only way they can cover the tuition increase,” Scott said.

The tuition increase is not the only problem that students are facing when it comes to renewing their financial aid packages. Grades are often a huge factor in how much money you get, or if you even get money at all.

“Bright Futures is a scholarship that is often lost because the recipient slips below a 2.75 cumulative grade point average,” Scott said. Florida Tech-based scholarships are revoked when you drop below a 2.0.

“The pressure between the tuition increase and the minimum grade point averages I have to make is tremendous,” said Carly Hunt, a biology major at Florida Tech. With the tuition increase, there is less room for a bad grade due to the danger of losing grade based scholarships like Bright Futures.

The rising tuition is certainly causing concern among students around campus, but with a creative approach there are several ways to overcome the obstacle that has been created.

“It seems hard now, but I’ll find a way to work it out,” Hunt said.

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