College is expensive. That is no surprise. Here we have compiled the most common ways to pay for college. They include Student Loans, Grants, and Scholarships. We have compiled the following resource to help prospective students find the best ways to find finding for college.
There are three main types of loans you can get from the government for college – student loans, parent loans, and private student loans. The first two are available from the government, while the third is usually handled through private lenders – typically banks or other financial institutions.
To find out what you are eligible for when it comes to student loans, you’ll have to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA.) This form can be a little confusing to fill out for the first time, but there is help available. Filling it out correctly (and honestly) is essential to make sure you don’t borrow more than you’re supposed to get and run into any other problems.
The first two types of loans are generally handled through private lenders, either through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) or from the government itself through the Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP.) The third kind of student loan is always handled by private lenders.
Student Loans – Students wanting to borrow money for school can get a Stafford Loan or (if they have additional financial needs) a Perkins Loan. If your parents aren’t denied a PLUS loan, students can get up to $31,000. Independent undergraduates (and those whose parents were denied a PLUS loan) can borrow up to $57,500.
Parent Loans – The federal government offers a Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) that will let parents borrow any money needed (for tuition) that isn’t covered by a student’s loans. The parents are responsible for this loan. The limits are dependent on the parent’s credit rating and their ability to pay the loan back.
Private Student Loans (Alternative Student Loans) – If you can’t borrow enough from the government for your education, this option is open if you have a good credit score or a co-signer with a good credit score. Like a PLUS loan, the limits here are based on your credit rating and your ability to pay back the loan.
As you can see, there are a lot of different things you need to know about student loans. Fortunately, there’s a lot of help available to get you through each step of the process. Student loans are one way a lot of people pay for their college education and there are many options to pay it off after you are done. That’s why Refinance Student Loans is here!
Unlike loans, grants you receive for getting an education do not have to be repaid. Most of the time, these are based on your financial needs and circumstances, but there are different types of grants available. Not everyone will be eligible for a grant, but you’ll find out when you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA.)
The amount of money available from grants varies a lot, depending on where the grant comes from and other things such as your financial need. Typically, though, you can get money to go toward your tuition and also in some cases money for books and living expenses. This depends on the source of the grant, though.
Formula Grants – There are non-competitive grants that are based on a predetermined formula. A lot of the time, these will be made available at the state level.
Discretionary Grants – These grants are given by the federal government after a competitive review process. Not everyone who applies will get this type of grant. Competition can be fierce.
Cooperative Agreements – This is a type of discretionary grant, awarded by the Department of Education when there might be substantial involvement with the person getting the grant while performing a funded project.
If you want to supplement what you get from grants or loans (or want to avoid loans that you will have to pay back), a scholarship is another option. A fellowship is basically the same thing as a scholarship, but sometimes they can be a bit more prestigious. You should be careful when looking around for a scholarship, though, because there are a lot of companies out there that pull scams on people looking for scholarship information. The thing to remember is that you can search for these scholarships for free in a lot of different places.
The government offers the FastWeb Scholarship Search online. You can also find scholarship information (for free) at your local Public Library or the financial aid office of a nearby college or university. Before you spend money to get scholarship information, remember there are a lot of free places to get the exact same information. There are also people who are willing to help you with all your questions for free if you know who to ask.
The thing is, you’ll never win any scholarships or fellowships for college if you don’t apply. Make sure you read all the instructions so that you don’t miss any crucial deadlines or fill out the paperwork wrong. When you’re competing against so many other people, it makes sense to take your time and make sure your application stands out from all the rest.
Questions? Get Answers
If you still have questions, don’t worry. Getting financial aid for a college education can sometimes be a life lesson in itself. Luckily, there are places you can get free help and information. The Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) can be contacted at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). They can answer questions about Pell Grants, Stafford and Perkins Loans, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and other things related to getting money for school.