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Wondering how you are going to pay for college this semester? Here is a helpful tip

Posted August 20, 2020 6:55 a.m. EDT
Updated August 20, 2020 7:01 a.m. EDT

— As millions of people apply for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic and struggle to pay the bills, paying for college may seem impossible.

If you are going through a financial hardship, you may be able to get extra support from your school -- even if you already accepted a financial aid package.

To do this, you can ask your school financial aid office to use professional judgement and adjust your bill during this time.

Belinda Wilkerson, owner of Steps to the Future in Fayetteville, advises students on college applications and aid. Professional judgement is appealed through your financial aid office and can apply to several scenarios, she said.

"If something has changed in the family this is the opportunity to ask for additional aid," Wilkerson said.

Some situations that will cause students to be able to receive more aid for college include:

  • Job loss in the family
  • Mounting out-of-pocket medical bills
  • An elderly family moves in with the family

"The most important thing, though, is that you have documentation to show that there was a change in income," Wilkerson said.

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One student Wilkerson advised received an extra $5,000 after asking for additional aid.

But Wilkerson said know that if you ask for the additional aid, it's not guaranteed.

"It doesn't hurt to ask because all they can do is say no," she said.

If you are struggling to pay the bills this semester, check with your financial aid office and see if you can present evidence and receive more aid. Students can appeal anytime during the semester.

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