An advisor from the Financial Aid Office at BYU-Idaho says quite possible for students to graduate with little to no debt.
Alyse Fye has worked at the Financial Aid Office for five years and she says the biggest problem students face when applying for financial aid is deadlines.
Fye says when students apply for the BYU-Idaho grant application for general scholarships and academic scholarships there is a March 1 deadline.
This is the priority deadline, which means if everything, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), is turned in by that time then the student should get their financial aid the first week of the semester. The FAFSA application is for grants, loans and work study.
Many students who apply for FAFSA might be chosen for verification.
Fye says as long as the student turns in their verification forms by July 1 they should get their financial aid by the first week of the semester.
If that deadline is missed it can take up to 12 weeks for a student to get financial aid.
FAFSA is not the only way for students to get free money while going to school.
BYU-Idaho has several scholarships posted on its financial aid web page. Fye says students can also go to studentaid.gov or do a simple Google search.
“There are thousands and thousands of scholarship opportunities out there,” Fye said.
She also recommends checking your state and local communities for scholarships.
A scholarship many students might be unaware of at BYU-Idaho is the internship scholarship.
Many students complete unpaid internships or might move to a place where the cost of living is high. Students can apply for this scholarship to help cover those costs to complete the internship.
Scholarships can also be pro-rated the last semester of school.
“If I am in my last semester and I only need to take 8 credits I can, instead of losing my scholarship or taking credits I don’t need to, to meet the 14-credit requirement, I can get it prorated down,” Fye said.
Any student at BYU-Idaho should be able to receive scholarships if they are looking in the right places.
“It’s really shocking the amount of scholarships some students bring in, we have seen checks for $15,000 for one semester,” Fye said. “Those students really have such a huge benefit I mean they have all their expenses paid just through the work they have done to find the right scholarships.”
Fye cautions students to be aware of deadlines and be responsible with finding financial aid. She says a large percentage, possibly up to 80 percent of students, fill out the FAFSA incorrectly.
“Read the questions carefully, follow all the instructions to turn in everything that is required,” Fye said.
Fye also says many students neglect emails from the Financial Aid Office.
“We get a lot of students who say they were never told, but they just don’t read their emails, or they set their emails, so they go to junk or spam,” Fye said.
Of course, if anyone needs help the Financial Aid Office is always there for students to come and ask questions or get help. The office is located at the Kimball Building room 196.
Fye says any student should be able to fund their own education at BYU-Idaho.
“There are avenues no matter what your background, no matter what your circumstances,” Fye said. “If you use all the resources available and are careful you can graduate close to debt free.”