Paying for College – What are the options?

The average cost of college is $23,000 per year and rising annually. This is intimidating for both students and parents alike. However, there are tons of scholarships and financial aid tools out there. Just knowing where to go for information is worth reading this article.

So, let’s get started. First, you should become familiar with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Completing this application is essential for high school students who will be applying for scholarships. Many scholarships require the FAFSA application be completed prior to completing their application. Here is a link to the website and online application: Federal Student Aid.

In addition to applying for scholarships through your school of choice, ask your high school counselor for a comprehensive list of scholarships. You can also register and apply for scholarships with FastWeb.

 

Types of Federal Student Aid” Video

Check out this video to learn about grants, loans, and work-study jobs and how they can help fund your education. (Captioning available in English and Spanish; just start the video and click on the CC symbol at the bottom.)

 

Grants and scholarships are other alternatives to paying for college. According to StudentAid.Gov:

Grants and scholarships are often called “gift aid” because they are free money—financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid. Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are usually merit-based. Grants and scholarships can come from the federal government, your state government, your college or career school, or a private or nonprofit organization. Do your research, apply for any grants or scholarships you might be eligible for, and be sure to meet application deadlines!

Student loans are another way to pay for school. Unlike grants, loans are borrowed funds and must be repaid. In addition to Federal Student Loans, private loans are also readily available and may have higher interest rates.

For more insight on paying for college, check out How to Nail Down a Great College Financial Aid Package fromForbes.com.

Mary Ila Ward

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