Paying for college can be the headache to shame all headaches, and the world’s largest bottle of Tylenol may seem insufficient. However, there is hope. With all of the paperwork, paying for college will never be completely carefree, but there are ways to successfully pay for college.
Hands down, the best way to pay through college is through scholarships. The award money from scholarships does not have to be paid back to the source, so this eliminates a good deal of the financial burden on families. What kind of scholarships are available? If there is a group, organization, ailment, hobby, or skill, there is probably a scholarship for that particular area. Websites such as fastweb.com and CollegeBoard.com offer free scholarship searches. The search asks for personal information regarding the student and the student’s family, and the website then lists all applicable scholarships. Additionally, some states offer scholarships. For example, the state of Georgia offers the HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) scholarship, which is funded by the Georgia lottery. Personally, this scholarship has been tremendously helpful because it pays the full tuition for public institutions as well as some of the fees. Many universities will also offer scholarships, so it is important to always explore the financial aid web page for a college or university or speak with a financial aid advisors.
Grants are also another form of financial aid that do not require repayment. The method for acquiring grants is somewhat similar to that of scholarships.
Loans can be a bit of a pain, but some circumstances may require that a loan is taken out to pay for necessary expenses. Unfortunately, some of the deals offered by college loans are not as promising as it seems. For example, some loans state the the funds do not have to be repaid until graduation. For students taking out loans, this means that as soon as graduation arrives, he or she is graduating into debt. It is very important to consider the terms of a loan before signing anything.
Always fill out the FAFSA. Most schools and financial aid programs require this very important form. It is also possible to become eligible for certain scholarships, loans, and grants due to the information produced from the FAFSA and reported in the Student Aid Report.
The Federal Work-Study program might be an option for students that are capable of working part-time during the semester. These students receives funds for part-time employment. Unfortunately, this is not available at all universities.
It is important to talk to the student’s financial aid advisor. The advisor can help evaluate different options for obtaining money for college, and the advisor should also know about unique opportunities that cannot be found on the web.
Unfortunately, some money will inevitably come out of pocket. The price tag on a solid education is quite high. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to locate funds to fill in the gaps.