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Top Financial Mistakes to Avoid When Preparing for College in Arizona

College is the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s a time for students worldwide to pursue their studies, meet new friends, and learn more about their interests and disinterests. In preparation for college, most students focus on picking out dorm decorations, setting up their college apartments, and deciding what classes to take, often forgetting to weigh critical financial aspects.

In pursuit of attending your dream college and seeking a successful career, you may overlook various factors when preparing for college in Arizona. Here are top financial mistakes to avoid so you’re not blindsided by severe and unexpected financial obstacles after college.

Failing to Consider Return of Investment (ROI)

Before enrolling in college, it’s wise to evaluate your potential return on investment (ROI)—a ratio that assesses the benefit of your investment. Of course, when you have your mind set on a particular college, calculating your dreams and aspirations doesn’t seem necessary. However, the goals you have for yourself may be unattainable if you pay or borrow too much money for college. What’s more, it can lead to years and years of financial distress.

Depending on the type of career you want to pursue, look for colleges in Arizona with tuitions that won’t surpass the salary you anticipate receiving following your first year out of college. Making conscious decisions on the amount of money you spend on your education can help prevent a future financial deficit.

Not Thinking about Financial Stability When Selecting a College

When forming a list of colleges to attend, most students include schools that will accept them based on their GPA or test scores. Not considering your specific financial circumstances when matching up with colleges could cost you down the line. The last thing you want to happen is to attend a school only to find out later that you’re unable to afford the cost and must drop out or switch schools.

When determining your financial stability, compare the college’s four-year price with a list of your resources. These resources include receiving financial assistance from your family, scholarships, grants, savings, and income. From there, you should be able to determine whether the college is the best fit for you.

Taking Excessive Amounts of Loans

Borrowing excessive loans, especially ones that amount to a cost that exceeds your expected annual income, may result in significant financial debt. In a situation such as this, it will be challenging to pay the full monthly expense on your loan balance. If you miss consecutive payments or pay below the minimum, you risk adding interest to your loans, making the balance even greater, or defaulting on your loans. This may cause you to delay certain milestones like buying a car and home or having a family until you can afford it.

Applying for College Scholarships Too Late

A common misconception when applying for college is that scholarships are hard to receive. While certain scholarships are tougher to get than others, there are several available scholarship programs you can exhaust. Even a couple thousand dollars can cover some books and courses.

What’s great about scholarships is that it’s a financial benefit with no ties—you don’t have to worry about paying it back. Talk to school counselors and college administrators, do some research online, and get a list of 40 or 50 different scholarships you can access. Above all, start early! Applying for scholarships takes a fair amount of time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end.

Not Completing a FAFSA

FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, helps millions of students pay for higher education every year. If you don’t send in a FAFSA application, you may be unable to take advantage of thousands of dollars in federal grants, scholarships, loans, and work study positions. Even if you don’t think you qualify for federal aid, it’s worth a shot. It’s best to complete your FAFSA application early on and stay up to date on state- and college-specific deadlines.

Understanding Your Options for Student Loan Debt Relief in Arizona

Upon completing their college degree, many Arizona Students find themselves overwhelmed by student loan debt and unsure about their future endeavors. No college student wants to graduate with thousands of dollars in debt after accomplishing such a meaningful goal. If you’re a student in Arizona who’s suffering under the weight of student loan debt, it’s time to call the seasoned attorneys at McCarthy Law.

At McCarthy Law, our legal team will work one-on-one to identify your concerns and debt issues in order to come up with a practical solution that considers your best interests. Our goal is to help diminish the principal and interest on your student loans by vigorously negotiating with lenders. To schedule a consultation with McCarthy Law and discover your options, call (855) 976-5777 or fill out a contact form today.

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Kevin Fallon McCarthy

Kevin Fallon McCarthy is the McCarthy Law PLC’s managing attorney and an experienced Phoenix debt attorney. Mr. McCarthy has also worked as general counsel for a large corporation. He has corporate counsel experience in human resource matters, general corporate governance, and union class action litigation.