Deposits for college begin with an initial May 1st due date. Many may still be unsure of their choices, but before submitting a deposit, consider the following.

1. Did you determine your financial aid eligibility renewal requirements?

Be aware of how your bill is paid, and what you need to do to keep the funding. Know your renewal requirements for scholarships and make sure to maintain the minimum GPA to keep them. Need-based funding like Grants could change year-to-year based on income information in the FAFSA, so stay aware during the annual FAFSA filing process.

2. Did you calculate student loan debt?

You should estimate the total amount of debt needed to pay for the degree. Compare loan options, and know what you would owe before committing to all the years necessary for graduation. Parents, don’t forget to consider Parent Plus, or your need to cosign for your children’s private loan.

3. Did you consider degree ROI?

If you plan to get the most from your education, then make sure you are looking at some big picture numbers like Degree ROI. This is a way to figure out if the money and time being put into a degree can turn into a profitable career afterwards. Money is important, but the rate of return on an education is tough to calculate, so take your time to consider the raw numbers, but also how an education will really benefit your personal needs as well.

4. Did you think about your living arrangements completely?

There are three ways to manage college housing. First, living on campus is available, but this is often the most expensive. Second, you may live at home, but need a way to commute to campus. Third, you may get off-campus housing like an apartment, but this takes careful planning and often requires job income to support. Since dorm deposits are often due with school deposits, families quickly consider that living on campus is the way to go, but it’s important to consider if this option will be the same every year in college, or for just the first year. It’s a good idea to have a plan for living arrangements to see how a school option can really be afforded.

5. Were you selected for financial aid verification?

Financial aid verification is when the school checks over your family tax and asset information and compares it to the information you provided on the FAFSA. In case of inaccuracies on the FAFSA, the school will correct information to what is actually stated in the tax returns. Families that underestimated their income or assets may face a reduction of funding if this error was found during verification. Most freshman have their information verified before making a commitment to a school, but be advised a school may request verification at virtually any time. Before committing to the school, make sure you contact the school’s financial aid office to confirm if you were selected, if you may be selected later and what to do if it happens.

Please note that the information provided on this website is provided on a general basis and may not apply to your own specific individual needs, goals, financial position, experience, etc. LendKey does not guarantee that the information provided on any third-party website that LendKey offers a hyperlink to is up-to-date and accurate at the time you access it, and LendKey does not guarantee that information provided on such external websites (and this website) is best-suited for your particular circumstances. Therefore, you may want to consult with an expert (financial adviser, school financial aid office, etc.) before making financial decisions that may be discussed on this website.