Decoding Your Financial Aid Award Letter (Part II)

Your remaining balance is the most important part of the Financial Aid Award Letter! Here are a few, practical ways to tackle this remaining balance.

A woman figuring out her Award Letter on a computer
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This is a two-part series. Be sure to check out “Decoding Your Financial Aid Award Letter Part I”.

Your remaining balance is the most important part of the Financial Aid Award Letter which demonstrates your out-of-pocket costs. Before you freak out, *deep breath in* there are several, practical ways to tackle this remaining balance and families often combine these options *deep breath out*. Please note: The remaining balance is for the whole academic year. Divide that amount in half—that’s what you’re expected to pay each semester. At King’s, payment for the fall semester is due July 15 and payment for the spring semester is due by December 15.

  1. Outside Scholarships – More free money? Yes, please. This money doesn’t come without work, sacrifice, and determination, but it’s totally worth it! Here’s a helpful blog post to get you started on your outside scholarship journey. (Be sure to check out King’s Church Matching scholarship listed towards the end of the helpful post linked above.)
  2. Payment Plans – Here at King’s, we offer payment plans per semester. This is a great way to take that chunk of money that is owed at the start of each semester and divide it into smaller, monthly payments. You can do your full remaining balance or simply a portion of your remaining balance (again per semester).
  3. Part-time Work – King’s doesn’t offer a federal work-study program, but the majority of our students work part-time. King’s offers a job fair at the start of the fall semester where you can learn more about available jobs in the city–you can ask your Admissions Counselor if your college offers a similar job fair. I worked two part-time jobs while in school; I was a Faculty Assistant for a professor and a babysitter. Working part-time and going to school full-time is definitely doable! Even better, start working and saving money now to help fund your education. Please note: The NYC minimum wage is currently $15/hour!
  4. Parental Support – There are several ways parent(s) can help pay for your education. If they’ve been saving up for your schooling, they can put that 529 Plan (or other college savings plan) to good use. They can also take out a Federal Parent Plus Loan. Please note: Unlike a private loan (but similar to the Federal Stafford loan), the Parent Plus Loan does have a small origination fee. The full loan amount will not be applied to your account, but your parent(s) are responsible to pay back the full loan amount.
  5. Private Loans – Both you and/or your parent(s) can take out a private loan. Dependent students will need a cosigner. If you’re coming to King’s, I recommend using this helpful private loan comparison tool.

I hope this decoding journey has been helpful and gives you better clarity in determining the affordability of your college choices. Perhaps you’ve realized that you CAN afford your dream school. Definitely reach out to your Admissions Counselor or specific college’s financial aid office if you have questions!

// Photo by StartupStockPhotos //

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