As the cost of college tuition continued to climb, year after year, more students are becoming saddled with the burden of how to afford their tuition. One of the best ways to help make college more affordable is to apply for financial aid. There are four types of financial aid that students can pursue and even better, students can pursue more than one of these options to help cover the cost of their college degree program.
School Sponsored Financial Aid
One way students can secure financial aid to help afford their college degree is through school sponsored financial aid. This kind of financial aid is made up of aid that individual colleges and universities provide to students who meet certain qualifiers. Schools typically offer scholarships, grants, and work-study programs to students who have a financial need. In order to apply for this type of aid students can contact the financial aid officers at the college or university they plan to attend to determine what type of aid is available through the school.
Federal Sponsored Financial Aid
Another way to help fund a college education is to apply for federally sponsored financial aid. The federal government is the largest financial aid provider in the United State, providing over $134 billion in student loans (according to 2014 data). https://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/2014report/fsa-report.pdf The specific types of financial aid provided by the federal government includes loans, grants, and work-study funds. Students interested in applying for federal financial aid must file a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). https://fafsa.ed.gov
State Sponsored Financial Aid
Another option for potential financial aid dollars is through state sponsored programs. Each state’s government offers grants, scholarships, work-study funds, state loans, and tuition assistance to help students pursuing their education in-state. In order to pursue this kind of financial aid, students can contact their state’s financial aid agency. High school students can also gather information from a counselor at their high school to gather information about potential state programs.
Privately Sponsored Financial Aid
The final kind of financial aid is grants, loans and other sources of financial aid dollars provided by private companies. These can be in the form of loans and scholarships, provided by private financial aid from corporations, religious organizations, cultural organizations, professional and service organizations, and many others. To gather information about the types of financial aid available, students can contact a college financial aid office, a high school counselor and even someone at a public library or school. The internet is also a helpful tool when trying to identify potential scholarships. These are a few of the most useful sites when searching for private financial aid:
Scholarships.com – https://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/student-loans/private-loans/
Fast Web – http://www.fastweb.com/college-scholarships