Students seeking aid urged to act early

For students and parents of students, uncertainty or rapidly changing federal regulations can cause as many problems as budget cuts, if not more. John Hoy of the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) says that ''many low-income first-generation students have misunderstood the new eligibility restrictions, and not bothered to apply for loans because they assumed incorrectly that they were automatically ineligible.''

NEBHE recommends that students plan early in choosing the right college or university they will attend; put the effort into researching all possible sources for financial aid, working closely with college financial-aid officers; and get applications for loans and aid in as early as possible.

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