What to Do When Financial Aid Fails You Before Finishing Your Degree

Beth Dumbauld

Finishing Your DegreeIf you are like most college students, there’s a good chance you are a “non-traditional” student. Likewise, your college degree path is probably also non-traditional. Unfortunately, a zigzagging degree path can greatly complicate an already complicated financial endeavor: financing your college education.

According to the US Department of Education, 73% of college students are considered to have one or more non-traditional student characteristic. These characteristic can be as varied as delaying enrollment in college, going to school part-time, accumulating credits from a variety of different academic and professional programs, having a family and going to college, changing majors and extending one’s time at college, changing colleges between semesters, or enrolling in different degree programs at different points in one’s career.

Are you at risk of not completing your degree because of financial aid concerns?

If you’ve attended several institutions, changed your major midstream, or had a series of “lost” college courses that couldn’t transfer when and how you needed them to, there’s a risk that you might run out of financial aid eligibility before you are able to graduate. Alternatively, you might find yourself a semester or two short of completing your degree, yet know it’s in not in your financial best interest to take out any more student loans before you graduate.

Where do you fit in this spectrum? Here are a couple common scenarios:

1) You’ve already hit the eligibility cap on funds received through federal student loans ($57,500) – and yet you still need to take (and pay for) more college courses in order to complete your degree.

2) You’ve determined the amount in student loans you are willing to take out to finish your degree – and now realize that you will need to pay for college courses out of your own pocket in order to graduate with a manageable amount of student loan debt.

How can you afford to finish your degree?

Easy. Here’s how:

  1. Do not pay any more for college courses out of pocket than you need to.
  2. Anytime you think about college, think about total cost.
  3. Think easy transfer of college credits.

StraighterLine can help you save $15,000 off the total cost of your college degree. StraighterLine online college courses are extremely affordable and guaranteed to transfer to America’s best online college and universities. With StraighterLine, you don’t have to rely on financial aid to afford the college courses you need. You can afford to complete your college degree.

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The Waiting Game: Student Loans and Your College Degree
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