4 Mistakes You Are Making With Financial Aid

1.         Not completing FAFSA by your college’s deadline

Most colleges have limited funds for financial aid so when you apply late, you run the risk of not getting first dibs on scholarships, FSEOG grants or work study. Find out your college’s deadline and make sure you’re applying by the due date. This year, you’re in luck - you can start applying for FAFSA starting in October 1st.  

2.         Taking only the minimum number of credits to be full time

Are you only taking 12 credits per semester? If you need 120 credits to graduate, you’re adding at least one extra year to your graduation date. So, you’re paying an extra year of tuition, taking one more year of loans and you’ll start earning money one year later! Add more credits per semester to graduate sooner. And, don’t forget to brush up on your study skills to manage the heavier course load.

3.         Not knowing your school’s satisfactory academic progress requirements

 To qualify for federal financial aid each year, you must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) eligibility requirements that include minimum GPA and pace benchmarks.  When you fail or withdraw from a class, it reduces your pace and it may not meet the minimum requirement. Check your school’s SAP policy online or in the financial aid office  to ensure that your GPA and pace meet the criteria each semester. 

4.         Not making friends with your financial aid counselor

Your financial aid office can be a great resource for scholarships that you may not know about, but qualify for. Ask about scholarships that fit your extracurricular or academic profile. Colleges also often have emergency scholarships for students to fill a small gap or to pay for books. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.


Margo Wright, CEO and Founder of Yenko Inc.

Margo is the founder of Yenko, a software company that sells software to help students avoid losing financial aid. Yenko’s personalized, early alert analytics identify and support students at risk. The company was born out of her frustration that over Forty-five percent (45%) of U.S. adults do not possess a post-secondary degree. She previously served as Senior Manager for College Readiness and College Success at the Harlem Children’s Zone and as Executive Director of Bodanna, a nonprofit social enterprise.




Transitioning to college can be as scary as it is exciting. Living away from home, prioritizing responsibilities and parting with lifelong norms can all be pretty stressful. According to a survey of more than 93,000 students at 108 colleges by the American College Health Association, more than half experienced overwhelming anxiety, while 85.6 percent of students felt overwhelmed by all they had to do.


Feeling overwhelmed is nothing to be ashamed of, and you're definitely not alone. There are tons of resources and professionals available to support you. Take full advantage.


Locate your campus wellness center and keep that phone number on deck in case of emergencies. This is a great resource for physical health, coaching and overall wellness support.


Dehydration can negatively impact your mood and your health. Be sure to mind your water intake.


We're all addicted to our mobile devices but the constant scrolling and stimuli can have a negative effect. Heavy cell phone use has been linked to depression and sleep deprivation. Take a moment to unplug from time to time.


Many colleges offer free counseling services or group sessions. Don't hesitate to tap these resources.


Get plenty of rest! Caffeine can be your best friend and your worst enemy during those late night cram sessions, but try not to make a habit of artificial stimulants as they can throw off your sleep pattern.


Whether you choose to go to your campus fitness center, jog outside or hit a few yoga poses from the comfort of your room, get in plenty of physical activity. Aside from warding off the dreaded freshman fifteen, the mental effects of exercise are real. The endorphins, adrenaline and dopamine released when engaged in physical activity all work together to help you feel good.


Don't underestimate the power of nature to combat stress. When you're feeling overwhelmed, get outside, walk around campus and take in some fresh air.


Nothing provides a guaranteed pick-me-up like helping others. Get involved in community service. Organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and The Boys and Girls Club are always looking for mentors.


Whether it's prayer, meditation or praise and worship, your spiritual practice is a powerful tool in maintaining a healthy balance. If you're missing your home church, the HaloLoop app allows you to livestream and participate virtually in your hometown service.


Relationship issues, that class you might not pass, financial woes...don't keep it bottled in. Take a few minutes and write in a journal to prevent the buildup of stress and anxiety.


Schedule downtime to kick it with friends, clown around or just Netflix and chill. Always make time to recharge.


Take a look at what you've already accomplished. You're doing it. You are adulting successfully! Just keep giving it 100 percent.

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PYT Partners with GS2 to Launch a No Co-Signer Student Loan

San Diego, CA / May 11, 2017 —  Goal Structured Solutions, Inc. (“GS2”) announces that students are now empowered to alleviate the unnecessary debt burden on their families with the next iteration of its Ascent Program for Funding Education (“Ascent”). Ascent Independent is a new student loan that considers more than a credit score and current income to give students greater opportunities to pay for school on their own, without a cosigner. To help make paying for school more affordable for students, GS2 also improved pricing and introduced fixed rates for both Ascent Independent and the existing Ascent Tuition student loans.Today’s announcement reflects GS2’s ongoing commitment to provide students with more opportunities to fund their education with a loan in their own name. Over 1,800 schools are currently eligible for Ascent Independent and Ascent Tuition. Ascent addresses a real need for students and enhances access to higher education, while preserving the notion that students and their families should not be over-burdened with debt.


“We continue to provide innovative solutions in education finance that change the way people pay for college. Our Ascent Program for Funding Education, with its new Independent product, is our boldest innovation yet.  While the rest of the market is making loans to parents, our objective is to put the money in the hands of the people who need it the most, students!” added Ken Ruggiero, Chairman and CEO of GS2. “We’ve developed our products with students in mind.  We believe that higher education is a worthy investment and an opportunity for students to gain financial literacy and security.”

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Go PYT makes college affordable

One Howard University student avoids dropping out of college by using the PYT Funds innovate community gifting platform that also combines bank financing.