How Do I Pay for College?


Hey, I’m CC Allen
from Now This. We’re about to give you
a crash course on everything you need to know
about starting college. I seriously wish I had
this playlist when I was
a freshman. Those first few months would
have been a lot less stressful. If you’re worried about how
you’re going to pay for college, you’re not alone.
I’ve been in your shoes. Barack and Michelle Obama
have been in your shoes. And so have the 44-plus
million people who are dealing
with student debt
in the United States. So whether it’s grants,
loans, scholarships, work study, it’s all very confusing,
but it is doable. This is like the biggest
big boy and girl thing
you will be doing is paying for–
this is gonna be
the biggest expense you’ve made
in your life to date. It is worth it,
but it is a huge responsibility, and I wish somebody
had told me that. Which is why
I’m telling you. CC:Welcome to “A Student’s
Guide to Your First Year
of College.”
Let’s tackle the big question, how the heck do we pay
for college, and how do we get access
to as much aid as possible? To answer that question
and more, let’s hear
from Emmanuel Moses, Assistant Director
of College Guidance
and Transition at the Opportunity Network. So you are the members of
the class of 2023 Stony Brook. I need you to find out
what your bill is for the fall. There’s money out there. There’s money out there
for almost anything. A lot of students don’t know
that if you fill out the FAFSA, you fill out the CSS Profile,
all these scary forms, if you go to an institution,
there is money to be able
to go there. Financial aid is any type of
money that you are eligible for or given to pay for college. So loans are a type
of financial aid. Work study is a type
of financial aid. Work study is money allotted
to the side that actually schools receive
from the federal government to allow you to earn
for it. It’s not all grants.
It’s not all free money. FAFSA is the Free Application
for Federal Student Aid. First things first, free.
Don’t pay to do that. It is something that you fill
out every single year to document how much money
your family, your household has that will allow institutions
and the federal government to see whether or not
you qualify for financial aid based off of
your financial need
rather than merit scholarships. This is the first form
that you have to fill out to be able to be eligible
for any type of financial aid. What’s the free money
that you get nothing–
that you– what’s it– okay, what–
what are they? – Scholarships.
– Scholarships. – Grants.
– Grants. Gift aid.
What’s not free money? – Loans.
– What else? – Work study.
– Cool. Okay. What forms to fill out
to make you eligible? For the federal level,
that is the FAFSA. In each state, the government
has their own state-funded one. So for New York,
where I work with students, that’s the Tuition Assistance
Program. There are some that are regional
for California, North Carolina. And then for those institutional
funds that a lot of students apply to the schools
that have more money to give, that would be more than likely
the CSS Profile, which is run
for college board. That asks for a lot more
information from your family, and that offers up
a lot more money than just the standard $6,195
grant that you can get from filling out the FAFSA.
It’s a lot of questions, but it’s the hoops and the forms
you have to fill out to be able to even get
that money. Good loans would be from
the federal government. Bad loans would be from
a bank, which has a little bit more
structure regarding how often they can ask
for the money and also
their interest rates. So what’s the tuition and fees
at Stony Brook for the year? – Let’s go with a year.
– 9,912. 9,912.
What’s room and board? – 14,196.
– 14,196. So, that’s what you pay
to the school. What’s this actual total bill
for the year? – 24,000.
– 24,000…eight? – 100.
– 108, right? – How are we paying for that?
– Grants and scholarships. Oh, okay.
Grants and scholarships. – How much?
– ( indistinct chatter ) 16,890. So it’s actually $7,218
if you take out no loans. How many of you have $7,000
laying around? ( indistinct chatter ) So, you can scrape it together,
but if you don’t, you’re still short. If you took out both loans, your bill for the fall
would actually be $859. First and foremost,
you have to understand
what it is you want, and then decide
what is financially feasible
for you and your family. Many students will get accepted
into schools that are asking
them and their families to take out $20,000
in extra loans, but their parents don’t
necessarily have the assets or the credit scores
to be able to take that out.
Celebrate that you got in. Celebrate that you are worthy
of this institution and they’re
actually worthy of you. But then you have to take
a step back and have an honest
conversation as whether or not this will be
a financial burden to you
and your family. There’s nothing worse
than being in class and worrying about getting
an A because your parents took out
a second mortgage. Regardless of where you go,
your experience will hopefully lead you to that career,
not just job, that will sooner or later
allow you to sort of have that financial stability
that is necessary. Having that sense of what
the financial responsibility
is now will allow that to match
your passions with the salaries that will come later
down the road. Congrats.
Y’all are awesome. Nowadays there are scholarships,
like, just for being black or just for, like,
having a single parent. And $500, like, you may look
at a scholarship like, “Oh, it’s only $500.”
But if you apply for a lot
of them and eventually get them,
that adds up. So just apply
for scholarships. Do those one page papers that,
you know, will take you no time because if you think about it,
you’re like, “No,
I’m not gonna do it.” But think about how many
students are saying, “No,
I’m not gonna do it.” And then you could be the one
who does do it and get
the scholarship. When you get on campus,
make sure you go to the
enrollment and the financial aid office
because they’re going– they’re specifically there
to help you learn about
those things and teach you about those things
so that you are a little bit
more financially literate. Anyone who’s helping you,
make sure you always show things
to them. If you’re doing it alone,
or you’re taking a loan or your parents are helping you,
or there’s people
in your corner, just always show thanks to them
because they don’t have to do it
at the end of the day. Often times, people will leave
money on the table. About $8 billion every year
is left on the table, and this is money that students
qualify for. But they’re just not getting because they’re not filling out
the paperwork on time
or properly. Make sure you’re getting
all the money that your financial situation
merits. Because I think that was
something for me that I– that I missed out on in many
cases that I really wish
I didn’t. You should be friends with
your financial aid officers. Go into the financial aid
office, introduce yourself, talk to those people
so that number one, they know who you are,
and if something happens, if you need more money,
your money runs out, there’s a problem around
renewing a scholarship
or a grant, they can help you through
that process. It’s not just critical
that you fill out your FAFSA, but the earlier you fill it out,
the more likely you are to get not just
the federal money,
but the state aid, which is sometimes limited
in time. The first people who apply
are oftentimes the first people
who get the money, and if they run out,
there’s not as much state aid. You’ll still get
the federal dollars, but it’s important that you get
as much money as possible. And especially when
it’s a grant, which means you don’t have
to pay it back, that’s huge. If you have a loan, what is that payment
gonna look like when you get out of school? Because you’ll be required
to pay your loans off in a monthly note
just like any kind of payment. And that’s one of the things
that I didn’t realize. So I know that these financial
forms require a lot
of your time. I’ve seen them.
But keep with it. It’s worth it and there’s money
out there for you. So let’s recap.
One, deal with FAFSA first
and foremost. Two, check out what free money
you’re eligible for
in your state. Three, explore scholarships
because there’s lots of money
left on the table. Four, consider work study
or federal loans to fill in the gaps
of any additional money
you may need. And five, even if school
has started, don’t freak out. There’s plenty of deadlines
that exceed through the year. Thanks for watching
“A Student’s Guide
to Your First Year of College.”