Who should apply for college aid?
Many parents of college-bound students take the same approach to financial aid. Those who expect to receive a lot of money take the time to fill out the forms. Families who believe they’ll receive only a small amount of aid — or none at all — don’t bother. Last year, 25% didn’t complete the federal application for financial aid, according to student lender Sallie Mae. But unless you’re reading this from the deck of your yacht, you should apply for financial aid. The recession has made it more difficult for many families to pay for college. At the same time, though, economic setbacks could increase your eligibility for federal and institutional assistance. For the 2007-08 academic year, undergraduate students received an average of $4,656 in grants and $3,650 in federal student loans, according to the College Board.