College Financing

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How Can I Sort Out College Financing?

So it's always been your dream to go to college or university but now you are starting to look at places available the costs of courses are so frightening that it's putting you off? Well don't let it! There are so many forms of college financing around that it is worthwhile investigating every opportunity available to you.

Who can you tap for thousands of dollars every year to finance your course? Here are the top five options:

1. Your Parents

Parents are always most people's first port of call, but with costs of courses and associated expenses increasing over 10 % in the last academic year alone for public colleges , it's hardly surprising that most parents on an average income will not be able to fully support your total required for college financing. Most students will find that they will have to finance their further education with a mix of parent contribution, a federal grant and student loans.

2. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

When you apply for college or university, you will have to submit a FAFSA that will determine what your parents are expected to contribute and what federal financial aid you qualify for.

  • Federal grants such as the Pell grant are a source of free money for college as they do not have to be repaid.
  • Federal loans such as the Stafford loan are readily available for students to cover the costs of college financing. Loans that are awarded as part of your financial aid package are subsidised loans but you can also apply for additional unsubsidised loans. Your parents can even apply for a Parent PLUS loan to cover the cost of their expected contribution.
  • Federal Work Study programs are also available.
3. Private loans

If the federal loans you are awarded do not cover the total costs, you can also turn to private lenders direct. The college or university you are planning to attend will be able to provide you with a list of accredited lenders to avoid any unscrupulous ones.

4. Institutional and state grants

The college or university you wish to attend may also offer grants. These tend to be awarded based on the merit of the student. This is also applicable to state grants that are another source of college financing. This are normally awarded in addition to anything that may be offered by the federal government.

5. Scholarships

There is also a huge range of scholarships available which fall into three main categories. These are need based scholarships that enable lower income families to send their sibling to the institution of their choice. There are merit based scholarships that are extremely sought after and very competitive and finally specialist scholarships that are awarded for unique reasons by a college or university.

All in all there is a massive selection of options for college financing and you should investigate every avenue to determine just how much financial aid will be available to you. You may find that obtaining a degree is far less expensive than you or your parents ever imagined.