How to receive financial help for college tuition

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I’m currently working two jobs to help pay for my college tuition. Luckily, the previous two years were completely paid for by a full Pell Grant. Unfortunately, when I signed up for the fall classes, I was told I was no longer eligible for that certain type of financial help. Within the last week, I have learned quite a few helpful tips that I wish to share with anyone that may benefit from my experiences.

To begin with, I was astounded by this unpredictable turn of events and was just about ready to pull my hair out!! Talk about a load of stress on a Monday morning! I started out trying to call every single bank in the town I live in to determine what kind of steps needed to be taken. Thinking long and hard about the situation, I came to the conclusion that with having a 3.7 GPA, quitting was not an option. Even though the phone calls were very discouraging, I still put forth an effort to continue on.

Eventually, I found out through Regions Bank that the Sallie Mae Student Loan (2) was available. Working at a bank has given me a financial understanding of what reasonable interest rates are, and let me tell you the Sallie Mae Program may be the answers for some, but I was determined not to let someone charge me with a 9.5 percent interest rate. Personally, I prefer to not be in complete debt after graduating.

I talked to the bank that I presently work for and was able to get a loan that would roughly cover this semester and next. Plus, I received a far better interest rate than that 9.5. My coworker said, “That is high way robbery with that high of an interest rate through the Sallie Mae Program!” Although I got a loan to be able to go the next two semesters, that still wasn’t enough. So by asking numerous people around town, I found out that I need to see the financial director at the college (3), the Superintendent of Education and to speak with one of the teachers that work at Bevill. Talking to the financial director wasn’t much help besides finding out when scholarship applications are available and when the deadlines are. Small information such as that does help in the long run.

Then I spoke with a teacher who enjoys helping anyone who asks. That’s the key term in all this, to ask. You don’t have a clue until you ask around and find out what your options are. Yes, some may have to swallow a serious amount of pride like I did, but it honestly turned out for the best. This teacher was able to find an anonymous donor to contribute to my tuition for the amount of $285. She also informed me of a college loan through BSCC with zero percent interest. All you have to do is apply for the loan, you may not get the entire amount and it must be paid back by the end of the semester. Now that sounds better than any other loan I have personally come across so far.

I also went around to local personally owned businesses and asked if they offered scholarships. Most answers were “no” or that they only contribute to graduating high school students. It was disappointing to hear this information but I still kept seeking more information. At the end of the week, I received a phone call stating that this certain business didn’t do scholarships but they still wanted to help me personally. This was absolutely fantastic news! Books are another serious matter that had to be attended to.

In general, if you basically swallow your pride and ask around you will be able to find some sort of help that is out there. Many people are willing to help those that are serious about their college education.

Hey Everyone! My name is Reba McCool and I am twenty-two years old. I’m a student at Bevill State Community College majoring in Business Management and come August I will be a continuing part time student of two years.

To vote for this post to win the Be The Brainiac contest by CengageBrain, type “Vote!” in the comments below. Visitors may vote once per day through Friday August 9th. Best of luck, Reba!

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