A lot of people would love to attend college, but when they look at the cost of tuition alone, they experience sticker shock. Along with the price of attending college, there are expensive textbooks and transportation costs. These are the expenses you have when you are living off campus at home. If you have to add in the cost of housing, then the cost of an education sky rockets. The situation is not hopeless; there is a lot of money available through financial aid to students who want to attend college but cannot afford to.
Getting a Grant from the Federal Government
If your income is low or non-existent and your parent’s income is low enough, you may qualify for a federal grant. This money is used to pay for your tuition, and because it is a grant, it does not need to be paid back. This is the first place you should start when looking to secure financial aid. You may not be able to qualify for the full amount of money available, but you may qualify for a partial grant. These grants are called Pell Grants, and for the 2013-14 school year, they will provide a maximum of $5,645 of college aid. This number can change if the laws are changed at the federal level. Each school year you must apply again for the aid, and you can receive aid up to a maximum of six years.
Various Scholarships are Available
There are an overwhelming number of college scholarships that are available. Many of these scholarships are for prospective students that are residents of a particular state while others are for those looking to earn a degree in a particular field. Scholarships are often linked to particular ethnic groups that are under represented as college graduates. Some scholarships are geared toward increasing the number of people working in a particular vocation. An example of this latter type of scholarship would be a state that has a shortage of nurses and offers scholarships to encourage more people to graduate with nursing degrees. There are also non-profit organizations offering scholarships to students at both the state and federal levels.
Student Loans from the Federal Government
There are loans available from the federal government, and they have the lowest interest rates you will find for getting a loan for your college education. Although the amount borrowed to earn a four year degree can be high, it may not be necessary to borrow the entire amount needed for tuition expenses. You may be able to fund your education partly with a scholarship or grant. It may be possible to pay for some of your education with a part-time job. It is important to keep the total amount borrowed as low as possible because you will be paying it back when you start working full time after college. However, you also need to look at the expected salary you plan on earning with your degree. Some salaries are very high and those entering the workforce have no problem paying back student loans.
Get an education paid by the United States Armed Forces
All four branches of the military need college educated people, and they often have difficult time recruiting college graduates. In order to fill certain jobs they are willing to provide an education in many fields. A college education can be had in exchange for a certain number of years serving your country. There are a wide variety of programs available. One such program from the Navy offers free tuition for schooling when it is done off-duty during your naval service. Scholarship programs are available with the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corp program. Your entire college tuition can be paid for at over 160 colleges in the nation.
If you need money to help pay for your schooling, there is a lot of money available. Don’t get discouraged; it takes time when securing financial aid for your education. Remember to be patient, and start as early as you can when looking for financial aid.