What to do When you Run Out of Financial Aid?

The finance involved in college is a big investment. It some times crosses your expected budget as well. You do not have to panic when you run out of financial aid. Here are a few ways to get out of that situation successfully.

Updated by Sreelekha R K on 16th March 2020

The finance involved in college is a big investment. It some times crosses your expected budget as well. You do not have to panic when you run out of financial aid. Here are a few ways to get out of that situation and pay for your education with zero pressure on you.

Steps that can be considered

The following are the steps to be considered and followed when you run out of financial aid.

Contact the financial aid office immediately

The first step is to contact the financial aid office in your school/college as soon as you realize that you are running out of financial aid. Their job is to help you solve this problem of yours.  They might advise you in different ways as in:

Need-based grants

Need-based grants are awarded to the students based on their financial need and it need not be repaid. If you are not able to pay the fees due to financial hardship/crisis, your school/college may be able to help you pay them by need-based grants which you don’t have to repay.

Providing a different payment plan

You can consult your financial officer in the college and request to change the payment plan based on how and when you will be paying the rest of the amount. You can pay the money you have for the present semester and the rest of the fee can be paid either after a few months or pay it in small installments.     


If you are not qualified/eligible for a need-based grant and still facing difficulty in paying semester fees, there is another option ie the college will provide you loan but on certain terms such as repayment duration, interest, charges, etc. 


Scholarships are the financial support given to a student based on academic achievement or other criteria and not based on the financial need.

The basic idea of the scholarship is that it is the money given to you for paying the tuition and fees in college or university. Scholarships are the best type of financial assistance as it is free and you need not work too hard for that.

The problem here is not all the scholarships fall in your hand when you need it. It takes more time. So, it is better to find scholarships such that it is handed over to you in a short term of period. These come from various sources such as clubs, charities, organizations, universities, great personalities, and government.


If you have not started working yet, its high time you start searching for some work. But you should have analyzed your situation before a minimum of one month so that you can work for a month and earn some money. It is always a good idea to work while you are still studying. It helps you in many ways. But in the present situation, it will mainly help you to pay fees.

  • You can work as a tutor (in a subject which you are really good at) for little kids who are your neighbors. 

  • You can work as an online tutor/ language tutor.

  • Start a blog with some good and exciting content.

  • Survey sites

  • Babysitting

  • Pizza delivery

  • If you can sing, dance, sketch or performer in any way, you can be a street artist which will also help you earn money (if you are in short of some less money).

  • Write reviews for books and music.

Take Loans/Borrow from someone

If nothing comes your way, it is better to ask someone by keeping your ego and pride aside. But firstly, asking your parents if they have money to lend you or if they are interested in giving you a personal loan is recommended.

The other option is to apply for PLUS LOAN by your parents when you are applying for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which is a federal loan that can be taken if your parents are financially dependent on you. You can even ask for some help from your fellow mates and repay them when you earn money. Be careful with the person you ask for help. Or else you will have to face the consequences.

Students who are facing an extreme financial crisis are provided with Perkin's Loan which is given and administered by the college itself.