Let’s face it. College education is expensive. Tuition fees are just the start. There are more things, which comprises the cost of college education including food, transportation, housing, and other miscellaneous fees. Parents of children who are looking forward to attend a college or a university often save money and work hard for it, years before their High school graduation, and most of the times, it is still not enough.
Student financial aid is a type of funding that intends to help students pay education-related expenses including tuition fees, housing, transportation, books and supplies for post-secondary education at a community college, four-year college, or university. You have numerous options to consider. You can apply for a student loan or a work-study program. However college grants and scholarships are the most sought after kind of financial aid, as these do not require repayment. Look for the financial aid department of your preferred college or university and they will walk you through your options and help you on your application. Let us provided more insight and discuss the different types of financial aid briefly.
Grants are non-repayable funds that can be given to a student by the federal government, state government, schools or private organizations. The two most common types of grants are the Federal Pell Grants where a student can receive $400 up to $5500 support and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants where grants range from $100 to $4000. In order to receive a grant, some form of “Grant Writing”, a proposal or an application is required.
Scholarships are a type of financial aid that also does not require repayment. Scholarships can be available through different sources including private companies, organizations, clubs or the government. Getting a scholarship though needs hard work as you need to have a certain qualification and maintain it for the rest of the program. This may be based on academic performance, extra curricular activity, sports, exceptional talent and more. For some scholarships, you need to have a certain affiliation, like a religious denomination, minority status, heritage etc. Remember to inquire about your options with the financial aid department of your preferred college or university.
Work-study programs for financial aid are also available. This type of financial aid provides jobs for students, allowing them to earn money for their college expenses. Some schools let their students begin working upon enrollment while others require you to wait until a certain amount of credits are acquired. This is because the type of work offered is usually related to your course. This is a win-win situation for the student as if they do well at work; their chances of being absorbed after their studies would increase.
Student loans are a type of financial aid that requires repayment with a small amount of interest, to be repaid after college is completed. This helps the student to concentrate on their studies and perform at their best during their college years. Repayment should start once a student finishes his education with a grace period of six months after graduation, for the student to get into a job and start earning.
Student loans are different in different states in the US; their rules, interest rate, terms of payment and qualifications should be looked at closely. But there are two main types of student loans: Federal student loans and private student loans.
Private student loans are offered to the student based on the credit history of the applicant and the interest rate will also will depend on their score. People with good credit history will be provided student loans at a lower interest rate and less fees. Federal student loans are either given to the parents or to the students directly. When a loan is guaranteed by the student, payments start after college is completed. If it is guaranteed by the parents, they have to make payments immediately. The loan limit is usually higher and in many instances there is no need for credit history, however interest rates are typically higher.