What should I do if my financial aid is not enough?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,422
    Financial advisor Brad Barnett discusses what you should do if your financial aid is not enough.

    Brad Barnett

    Brad received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Arkansas University, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Business.  He furthered his education by graduating from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, specializing in Mental Health.  He has been involved in the financial aid and/or rehabilitation professions for the past 15 years. Brad, a Past President of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA), currently serves as the Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships for James Madison University.  Immediately prior to JMU, he served as an Assistant Director of the Financial Aid Office at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Brad has presented numerous sessions at state, regional, and national conferences, and has served on a variety of association committees.  In addition to speaking at professional conferences, Brad has conducted an abundance of workshops and presentations in non-conference environments, including teaching a credit based financial literacy course at JMU entitled “Dollars and Sense.”  Many of the topics Brad’s speaks on include communication, leadership, values, financial aid policies and procedures, financial literacy, and saving for college.  He has also facilitated strategic planning and value development retreats.

    Host: What should I do if my financial aid is not enough?

    Brad Barnett: If your financial aid offer is not enough, then my first suggestion is talk to the financial aid office. Find out a couple of things; one, do they offer you every thing that you are eligible for? Remember, some schools do not offer loans upfront on their financial aid award notice. Second, explain to them why it s not enough and what s going on in your life. There could be a special circumstance that you have going on right now that is making college really hard for you to afford that the aid office didn t know about and if you let them know about it depending about what it is they may be in situation where they can help you and increase your financial aid eligibility. So don't be afraid and don't just take the letter and say, well, I can t afford school; open a line of communication with your financial aid office and see what happens.