Financing a college education is one of the most expensive investments a person will make in their life. With tuition fees on the rise, it can be difficult to find ways to pay for college. Fortunately, there are a number of sources of financial aid available to those who qualify, and understanding how to access these funds can make the process of affording a college education much easier. You’ve want to make sure you’re making the most out of everything.
Types of Financial Aid
There are a number of different types of financial aid available, including scholarships, grants, student loans, and work-study programs.
- Scholarships – the beauty about scholarships are they’re usually awarded based on merit, such as academic performance and extracurricular activities. Students can search for scholarships by logging into their school’s financial aid website or visiting scholarship search engines.
- Grants – Grants are also a form of non-repayable financial aid. Unlike scholarships, however, grants are typically awarded based on need. Students can check out government and non-profit websites to find out if they are eligible for grant money.
- Student Loans – While these are still considered financial aid, they should be used with caution. The federal government offers a variety of student loan programs, such as the Federal Direct Loan Program, to help students afford the rising cost of college. Students may borrow up to their full financial aid eligibility.
- Work-Study Programs – If a student is eligible for financial aid, they may also be eligible for work-study programs, which provide federal and school-based funding for part-time jobs on or off campus.
Applying for Scholarships and Grants
One of the best ways to finance your education is to apply for scholarships and grants. There are a number of free scholarship search engines that can help students find financial aid. The best way to apply for scholarships and grants is to start early.
Most scholarship applications are due in October or November, and some deadlines can be as early as September. While applying for scholarships can seem like a daunting task, there are ways to streamline the process.
First, create a file to store all scholarship applications. Next, set aside time each day to work on applications. While it may seem tedious, logging the time spent searching for scholarships can help students stay organized and ensure they are maximizing their time.