Every ambitious student wants best of education in one of the best colleges and realize their career dreams. It can be a matter of celebration for students and their families to get admitted to college of their choice to pursue their studies but often the price tag of college fee restrict their excitement.
Borrowing money or bank loans can prove very expensive and everyone cannot afford those.In such cases when you find yourself constrained due to college fee, you must not get disheartened and look for the best possible ways that may help you pay for your college.
There are many ways that may help you choose a suitable financial plan that you and your family may find affordable. This narrative blog will discuss some ways or financial plans to pay the college fees.
1. Enrolment in FAFSA
Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the foremost step towards paying for college with ease. Even if you are not likely to qualify, you must fill in FAFSA.
Filling FAFSA online helps determine and establish your eligibility for any financial assistance in the form of Grants, Scholarships and various other benefits like Work-Study, Federal or Private student loans as well as state and school-based aid.
Financial assistance for your financial needs are determined and allowed on the basis of FAFSA.
- Select an affordable community college
One of the common and most easy strategies could be to attend affordable community college for a year or two before migrating tofour-year school.
Studying in community college where tuition fee is much lower than other institutions; can help you saving more amounts and enable to pay for your college.
- Apply for Grants
Grants serve as a financial aid for pursuing your studies in college and are granted by the Colleges, States or The Federal Governments generally on the basis of financial status reported by you for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.
Most of the grants are given on the basis of request made by you at the time of seeking admission in college and accordingly you generally receive financial aid award letter along with your acceptance letter.
Bulk of financial assistance or grant is provided by the college considering financial status of your family to fill the gap between the amount your family can afford and college fee.
The eligibility and grant criteria may vary from institution to institution and in states.
- Ask for Scholarships
One thing interesting as well as common between scholarship and grants is that you are not required to pay them back.
The scholarships are usually given on the basis of educational or academic performance, specific educational or research course, excelling in sports or stage performance besides having potential for bringing laurels to the institutions.
The colleges, government and non-governmental organizations grant special scholarships to children from Armed forces, Minority groups, Writers or weaker section of the society.
- Opt for Work-study jobs
The federal work-study programs funds students attending under-graduation or graduation courses.
The work-study program can help you in generating income for students who can prove their financial needs and hence are required to fill in and submit Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Under this work-study program, the students are officially paid on hourly wages basis which are legally required to be higher than the federal minimum wage.
It is mandatory that the jobs should be compatible with work-study in college itself, state federal or local public agency.However, it is important to remember that the amount earned by you under work-study program cannot exceed your work-study award amount for the year.
The work-study award amount is also included in your Financial Aid Award Letter issue along with acceptance letter by the college.
- Private Student Loans
These loans are issued by banks, private money lenders, financial institutions and credit unions etc. Private student loans facilitate students to borrow entire cost of tuition, fees, hostel room and board and other college costs at either fixed or variable interest rates.
You can repay the loan taken from bank while earning through work-study program during college studies or after finishing your studies.
Future loans, if required, are given on the basis of repayment promptness and regularity that build and maintain good credit.However, being extremely costly, borrowing money as a private student loan should be the last option.
8. Federal Student Loans
When you need to borrow money for completing your college education, before opting for private student loan, you must avail Federal loans.
Federal loans are issued by the government that can prove economical and safe as well.
These Federal Student Loans are generally:
- Based on your actual financial need i.e. Directly Subsidized Loans
- Not based on your financial needs i.e. Directly Unsubsidized Loans
The students should prefer Federal Loans as these are issued at low and fixed interest rates. At the same time, these loans offer relatively much flexible repayment options.
Other benefits of Federal loans have benefits include easy access to income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs as well.