Tying to figure out how to pay for college?
Here are the steps you should take.
- Look for scholarships and grants – Free money is always the best place to begin.
- Look into Federal student loans next – FAFSA
- Let us help you to fill the gap left over responsibly.
Scholarships and Grants
There are many Scholarships available. Be patient and apply for as many as possible. Every little bit of money you don’t have to pay back will help you. Below are some links to help.
- Dept. of Labor – Free Scholarship Search Wizard
- Federal Student Aid Website
Grants – the other free money! Grants are another way to get money without having to borrow. There are multiple types of grants that you can look into and see what fits. Two of the most popular are the Pell Grants, and the Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG). The Pell grants are in general for families showing financial need but, depending on the circumstance, families with higher income may be eligible. The SEOG is a grant for families exhibiting the greatest need. The grants go quick and should be applied for early. Beyond these two grants you should also look into state grants (each state is different but these tend to go off of a combination of merit and financial need) and college grants (some colleges give cash grants and others give tuition discounts).
Direct Stafford loans
These are low-interest loans offered by the federal government. They aid students to cover the cost of a four-year college or university, community college, trade, career, or technical school. Direct Stafford loans include subsidized and unsubsidized loan options. If a student is eligible they borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education.
- Direct Subsidized Loans – Direct Subsidized Loans are for students with financial need determined by the U.S. Department of Education based on the information reported by the student on their FAFSA. Interest is paid by the government while you are enrolled at least half-time, during the six month grace period, and in deferment. The loan payments may be deferred while in school.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans – you are not required to demonstrate financial need to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Unlike the subsidized option, you are responsible for paying the interest that accumulates while you are enrolled at least half-time, during the grace period and during deferment. The loan payments may still be deferred while in school.
The Federal Perkins loan is not subsidized, but does offers lower interest rates and longer grace periods than the Stafford loans. To be eligible for the Federal Perkins loan exceptional financial need must be determined by the U.S. Department of Education based off of your FAFSA. The Perkins loan is made through a school’s financial aid office. The loan is still made with government funds, but your school is the lender. More information is available at the school financial aid office.
This is the area we can help. Once you have looked into all of the other options, we can help you to finance the gap between the cost of attendance and the Federal loans/aid you have received with Private Student Loans. This is not a government loan. This is why you should be sure to go with a financial institution that you trust, like us! These loans are not purely based off of need, instead they are based off of the students credit score and the co-signers’ (these often need a co-signer) credit score.
Things to look for with a gap loan:
- zero origination or prepayment fees
- low interest rates
- flexible deferment and repayment options
- easy application process
- make sure loan is certified through the school (this means the school verifies the amount you need to borrow so you neither borrow too much or too little.)
Federal Plus (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)
Parents can apply for the Federal Plus Loan to help pay their child’s expenses if they meet the requirements. This loan can never be transferred to the student and include origination and other fees. Graduate and professional students may apply for these based on their own income.