Before you take on any student loans explore these options to help pay for tuition.
Financial aid can play a large part in covering college expenses. (In fact, you can see here how a reader and her husband paid for college entirely with financial aid!)
The most common form of federal financial aid is the Pell Grant.
Federal Pell Grants are government grants that do not have to be repaid. These are available to students pursuing undergraduate degrees who haven’t yet earned a bachelor’s degree. Pell grants are awarded to students who show financial need.
You can apply for a Federal Pell Grant using the FAFSA and can be awarded up to $5,815 per year.
Here are some other grants to look into:
- FSEOG – Awarded to students of financial need who qualified for the Pell Grant and haven’t obtained a bachelors.
- TEACH Grant – This grant is for students who plan on becoming teachers and are willing to sign a contract to work in high-need areas for a specified period of time.
If you don’t qualify for a grant you’re not out of luck. (And even if you do qualify you can still take advantage of scholarships!)
It’s estimated that each year almost $50 billion is awarded in scholarships and grant money.
The first places to look for scholarships are the college you’ll be attending and your parents’ workplace. While these are generally your best bets you can also utilize a search engine like FastWeb which contains more than 1.5 million scholarship opportunities worth $3.4 billion.
It’s a fact that billions of scholarships are awarded each year. There’s no reason to think that you, too, can’t get at least a small part of your tuition covered with scholarship money.
Giveaways – (Win $2,016 from Credible)
Credible is our go-to company for refinancing student loans and they are currently giving away $2,016 which you can use to go toward college expenses.
Entering the giveaway is simple and there are three ways to win:
- Check your refinancing rates. (Free, takes two minutes and won’t affect your credit score.)
- Spread the love on Facebook.
- Tweet about the giveaway.
Giveaway ends September 16, 2016. Limited to one entry per day.
Paying for the Rest
Most students cannot find enough free money to pay for their entire college career. In this case, it’s best to shop around and find the best student loan to cover the remaining portion. (Here’s a very detailed guide on taking out student loans.)
Put in the time to come up with enough “free” money to cover college expenses and then carefully choose the right loans to cover the rest.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.