Financial aid options

Before entering college, you may find yourself pondering exactly how you will be able to pay for college. Many public colleges and universities cost thousands of dollars, while private colleges and universities can cost $10,000, $20,000, $30,000, or even more just to attend. Before getting too worried about these high prices, it is important to know that help is just a click of the computer mouse away, as the internet can help you to find the financial aid option that is right for you!

FAFSA First

Without knowing any of the options, it is important to first fill out a FAFSA form with your school’s financial aid department. The FAFSA form allows you to tell the federal government all of your financial information. Once they have that in hand, they can determine what your best financial aid options are.

Loan Options

One option often used by students entering college is loans. Loans, like the federal PLUS loan, Perkins loan, Stafford loan, and FFEL loan, can all help you to pay your way through college without putting a dime down to do so. You will, of course, be required to pay back some or all of these loans (depending upon your financial status and the financial status of your parents), but loans can be an effective way of paying your way through college.

Grant Options

Another option is grants, which can be obtained through the government (like the Federal Pell Grant, for example) or through your particular school. Grants pay your way through college and do not need to be repaid once you graduate. These grants are usually only “granted” to those who are in need of financial aid, but be sure to apply for them if you think that you are eligible.

Other Financial Aid Options

Other less conventional methods of financial aid are also available to college students. Federal work study allows students to work at colleges and universities while they are enrolled there for several hours per week. Money earned can then be used as a means of financial aid. Check with your specific college or university for other financial aid options that may exist and be at your disposal.

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My favorite financial aid sites:

Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) 

Free Federal Aid eBook

FastWeb free scholarship search

Scholarship Experts free search

Special thanks to NextStudent.com for distributing this helpful article. At NextStudent, we believe that getting an education is the best investment you can make, and we’re dedicated to helping you pursue your education dreams by making college funding as easy as possible.

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