My FAFSA is filed, where is the money coming from to pay for my education? Here are three main ways to pay for college. A grant is the most desirable; a scholarship is next; and a loan should be used after exhausting all grant and scholarship opportunities.
Grants for college
A grant is free money for college that a student does not have to repay. The grant can come from an individual, a private organization, or a government entity. Part of the student financial aid package can contain several grants. Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG) and the Pell Grant are two grants offered by the Government.
Earning scholarships for college
Merit scholarships are performance based and a student must meet specific criteria. There are also specialty scholarships for college students that emphasize an area of study. Two examples of specialty scholarships are art scholarships and music scholarships.
Applying for college loans
Unlike grants, education loans must be repaid approximately nine months after separating or graduating from college. After scholarships and grants are applied toward tuition, the balance can be covered by education loans. Students can apply for these loans at: banks, credit unions, government agencies, and private financial institutions.
A loan has additional fees, added interest, and specified terms and conditions. Students should use education loans cautiously because they are legally binding and are the student’s financial obligation to repay and adhere to the terms and conditions.
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) helps students to find and apply for a grant, a scholarship, or a loan. This information can be found under the ‘Find Money for College’ section of their home page. There is information about loan forgiveness and other helpful tips about education loans. It is a sound financial aid resource for Pennsylvania students.
There are many ways to pay for college and options should be explored with a reprehensive from the Financial Aid Office. Initially, you may have to use education loans to pay tuition but students should not be discouraged because there are many possibilities for finding free money to pay for college.
If you enjoyed this article (and the other related articles) then be one of the first to read future articles through email alerts by clicking on the subscribe button. If you have comments or topic suggestions, please email me at [email protected]