Managing Student Loans

The high costs of returning to college to pursue a degree need not be a deterrent to single parents within the state of New Mexico. Due to the growing trend of non traditional students in the state there is a number of financial aid packages specifically designed to assist those in financial need. Recognizing the necessity of educating and then retaining the students who could not otherwise afford to resume education, the state has an excellent package of grants which should limit the need to rely on loans.

All applications for any state grants and scholarships can only be made after completion of the FAFSA application. This gives the student access to the Pell grant and is used to apply for federal student loans too. Once the FAFSA has been submitted the student may then apply directly to the colleges of choice for New Mexico state grants and scholarships, and take advice from the financial aid offices of the colleges who are primed to give further assistance.

Single parent students who typically fall into the low income category should make earliest application for the grants available through the New Mexico Higher Education Department financial aid division. The office helps students find money to help to cover the costs of a college education and grants are available to both full and part time students. There are grants, scholarships, the legislative state lottery scholarship, work study and loans for service programs: each will assist with tuition costs and reduce the reliance on student loans.

Single parent students are eligible for the college affordability grant which is based on financial need, and the New Mexico student incentive grant which is based on substantial financial need, as well as the student choice grant. The colleges of choice will be able to provide up to the minute information on other grants and work study programs available which are suitable for the single parent student needs.

Those students looking for a post graduate career in teaching or nursing, ideal to fit in with the needs of their own families, are further serviced by the New Mexico’s Teachers Loan and Service Program, and the Nursing loan for service program. If the student is interested in working within the public sector upon graduation then assistance is obtainable through these two state programs, which would also alleviate worries about actually finding a suitable job after obtaining a college degree.

Private student loans should always be a last resort for any student but it would appear unlikely that they would actually be necessary to the single parent student in New Mexico as there is such a wide program of financial assistance available through the New Mexico Higher Education Department. If loans are necessitated to make up any shortfall in state grants then the federal Stafford loans would most likely suffice to cover any shortfall.