1. Keep Track of Payments
Make sure to write down the deadlines for payments on your planner or a Google calendar. Write sticky notes and put them up on your mirror! Set up alerts! Make sure that you’re aware of when payments are due. As counterintuitive as it is, sometimes certain campuses charge hundreds of dollars in late fees for delayed payments. Avoid the stress. Make timely payments if it’s possible to.
2. Communicate with Parents/Guardians
Most of the time, schools will only allow the student enrolled to view term bills. Sometimes, there will be an option to share the ability to view payments with parents via email. This should give them alerts and access to make payments along with you. If there is no way to give this access to your parents or guardians, make sure to forward emails with your financial packages to your parents/guardians as soon as your receive them!
3. Keep Parents/Guardians in the Loop
I’ve found that especially among us first generation students, there’s a huge disconnect between administration and parents, especially in financial aid, which, for a lot of us, is an especially stressful department. Introduce your parents/guardians to financial aid representatives in person, if possible. If this isn’t feasible, try to set up phone conversations where your parents can ask their questions about financial aid. As long as you and your parents/guardians are comfortable with financial aid representatives, it’ll allow you all to resolve confusing financial situations. Financial aid departments can even help break down the CSS, FAFSA, and even your personal financial aid package. Understanding your financial aid package is so important, and it’s one less thing to stress out about!
4. Be Open with Financial Aid Representatives
If your family is going through a particularly rough economic patch, let the financial aid department at your school know. For situational changes beyond your control (family emergencies, natural disasters, etc.), the financial aid departments are typically responsive and more flexible to changing financial aid packages. Relieve a stressful personal situation like this by reaching out to financial aid representatives. Keeping an open communication with administration keeps things running smoothly. Less stress for all parties involved!
5. Don’t Deal with Administration Alone
If you can, get your parents/guardians to go to campus.
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