How do you plan to pay for Northeastern’s AACSB online MBA or any other college or university you decide to attend? There are many different ways you can pay for your college education – financial aid, federal student loans, scholarships or money you save and earn. Whatever methods you decide to use to pay off your tuition and living expenses, don’t fall for the following myths and mistakes.

Believing There’s Plenty of Time to Decide

You applied to a number of colleges and received acceptance letters to some. Putting off figuring out the costs and how to pay them is the worst mistake you can make. You need to figure this out as soon as possible, preferably when you begin applying to colleges. You need to pay attention to the costs of tuition to ensure you can potentially pay for it, using whatever methods you’re considering. Fill out your FAFSA quickly to see if you qualify for financial aid.

Academic-Based and Talent-Based Scholarships Are the Most Common

A lot of high school students think that their only options for scholarships is to obtain those that are talent-based or academic-based. So they work hard to become an athlete or they hit the books trying to get the highest GPA possible. The reality is that students can get scholarships if they can demonstrate they are in financial need. Federal student loans and work-study jobs or other options for receiving financial assistance. About 90 percent of scholarships go to students that are in financial need. Filling out your FAFSA is key to determining your eligibility.

You Make Too Much to Qualify for Financial Aid

There is no income cutoff limit for students to receive financial aid, so it’s not just the financially needy kids who get assistance. What colleges look at is your family’s ability to pay for your college education. So if you come from a middle-class family, but are going away to a prestigious school, then you would likely qualify for financial assistance, especially if you have siblings going to college soon.

College Acceptance is Higher if You Don’t Apply for Financial Aid

This is a very misleading concept that revolves around the notion that not applying for aid looks better to colleges. The reality is that 75 percent of students go to public universities, which don’t care about whether or not you applied for aid. There are also some private colleges that have a limited aid budget that still accept students regardless of their financial need. Once they meet his budget, then they will turn away students asking for aid. So apply for aid if you need it, wherever you decide to go to college.

All Student Loans Are the Same

There are loans that are private and those that are federally backed. The type of loan you get to pay for your college education does matter. What sets apart federal student loans is the fact they offer a variety of flexible repayment options, such as basing payments off of your income. Some also offer debt forgiveness after 20 years, as long as you’ve maintained your monthly payments. Even the interest rates are more affordable. This is why it’s advised that you consider these loans over private loans.