Worried about how you’ll pay for college? Join the club.
A new survey found that paying for college is prospective students’ biggest concern — 72 percent of respondents are “very worried,” and while 83 percent plan on attending school, only 51 percent feel ready.
The findings come from a survey of almost 1,000 students who opted in via email from Viacom brands. Juniors and seniors who took the survey, which was conducted by Viacom, the Ad Council and the Get Schooled Foundation, reported that college prep is by far the number one most stressful thing in their lives, followed by friend drama, athletics and dating.
Despite all the financial worrying, only 12 percent of students who responded to the survey had filled out a FAFSA form.
The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a particular source of stress to students as time is off the essence: The form determines a student’s eligibility for grants, loans and work study. Colleges also use the FAFSA form to help determine financial aid packages. Students can submit the application for the 2016-2017 school year as early as January, and need to apply for an FSA ID.
The college application process — and especially the steps needed towards paying for it — is notoriously confusing. The Obama Administration recently moved towards simplifying the FAFSA, and other efforts to make the whole journey a bit easier include the Coalition for College Access, a consortium of schools that will allow students to access their applications through one online portal, and the First Lady’s campaign, Better Make Room, that aims to encourage teens to consider higher education.