Getting a decent education is not cheap. Some of the country’s best colleges can leave you with hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition bills. Ouch! Now, don’t get scared off. Your child’s education doesn’t have to put you in the poorhouse. Today we’re going to look at 7 ways that you can get funding for an education for you or your child.
Many of these require you to fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You can fill this out as soon as the taxes from the previous year are complete. Find out more information on this at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
1. Stafford Loans. These are probably the most common form of funding. The government offers these low interest loans to most students who have any sort of need. There are two different types of these: subsidized and unsubsidized, and which you get is based on your need. Subsidized loans do not begin to accrue interest until you are done with your degree, whereas unsubsidized loans begin to accrue interest immediately.
2. Perkins Loans. These loans are even lower-interest than Stafford Loans. Usually provided by your state or your college, these are reserved for those who have the most financial need.
3. Private Loans. These are granted through your bank or other financial institution, and are usually at the same rate as other loans. I suggest not using them unless you have exhausted all other forms of funding
4. Grants. When you fill out the FAFSA, you’re automatically considered for dozens of grants. But don’t just stop there, many organizations also offer grants. Involved in extracurricular activities? There’s probably a grant for it.
5. Scholarships. These aren’t usually considered when you fill out a FAFSA, unless you’re planning to go to a small college that automatically throws you in the mix for scholarships when they receive your Financial Aid information. Talk to your student’s guidance counselor, your college’s financial aid office, and use websites like FastWeb to see what scholarships you can apply for. Like grants, if you do anything, there’s probably a scholarship for it.
6. Work Study. These programs are for undergraduates that want to make a little extra cash. A few schools also give a bit of funding toward tuition, but most don’t. This is more to find an on-campus job.
7. Assistantships and fellowships. These, on the other hand, are for those seeking post-bachelor education. Many grad schools offer these work and research based types of assistance, often with a half or full tuition waiver and a paycheck. Pretty good deal if you ask me.
Don’t let education put you in the poorhouse. Do some research and get the most funding that you can before you go forward in your educational adventure. Have a great weekend!