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Paying for college can be daunting. The average cost to attend a public college for the 2021-2022 school year was $10,740 for in-state residents and $27,560 for out-of-state residents, according to a CollegeBoard Report. Room and board cost an additional $12,000, and you can expect to spend money on fees, textbooks, and supplies. But the good news is that you can afford a college education even if you don’t have any money to spare.
Private student loans are an option to help finance your college education. Credible allows you compare private student loan rates from multiple lenders, all in one place.
Apply for scholarships and grants
Scholarships are monetary awards given to students who qualify. Some scholarships cover your entire tuition, while others offer a few hundred dollars. Schools, employers and various organizations offer scholarships and you can apply for as many as you want. Some scholarships are merit-based, awarded to students who meet academic or talent requirements, while others are based on financial need.
To find out about available scholarships, ask your high school counselor, contact the financial aid office of the school or schools you are interested in, look for scholarships at a public library, or search CareerOneStopsponsored by the US Department of Labor.
Grants are free money given to students in financial need. The federal government, state governments, colleges, and private organizations offer grants. To learn more about available grants, search for CareerOneStop or submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You don’t have to pay back grants or scholarships, so look to those first when trying to cut tuition.
Complete the FAFSA and Apply for Financial Aid
If you don’t have any money, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can help you pay for public college, private schools, community college, or vocational schools. After you send the formyou will know what scholarships, grants and financial aid you are entitled to.
You generally do not need to repay scholarships or grants. But if you get financial assistance in the form of student loans, you’ll have to start paying them back with interest, usually six months after you leave college or if you fall below half-time. You can minimize your student debt by borrowing only what you need.
To complete the FAFSAyou will need to provide the following:
- Social Security number
- Driver’s license number
- Alien registration number (for non-US citizens)
- tax returns
- Records of any untaxed income
- Chequing and savings account balances
- All investments, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate (does not apply to your primary residence)
- Any commercial or agricultural asset
If you are a dependent student, you will also need to provide the above information for your parents. You will need to have at least one school in mind to include in the FAFSA. The schools you list will receive your information from the FAFSA to determine the types of assistance you may receive.
If you need private student loans to help cover your education costs, visit Credible to compare private student loan rates from various lenders in minutes.
Get a work-study job
The federal government offers the Federal Work-Study Program, which funds part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students in financial need to pay for their college education. The jobs are usually community service work or work directly related to your field of study. You’ll earn at least minimum wage, and you could earn more, depending on the job and your skill level. Your federal work-study grant determines the number of hours you will be allowed to work.
Take out federal student loans
After submitting the FAFSA, the federal government may offer you student loans. The amount you can get varies. For example, undergraduate students can usually receive between $5,500 and $12,500 per year. Graduate students can generally borrow up to $20,500 per year.
The US Department of Education offers three main types of federal student loans:
- Subsidized direct loans — These loans are for undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need to use for college or vocational school. The government pays accrued interest while you are in school at least half-time, during adjournment, and for six months after graduation.
- Unsubsidized Direct Loans — Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for these loans and they do not have to demonstrate financial need. You pay all accrued interest.
- Direct PLUS Loans — These loans are for graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students.
Consider private student loans if you need extra funds
If you don’t want to complete the FAFSA or need extra money to pay your college fees after receiving a federal student loan, you can apply for a private loan from a bank, online lender, or college. another financial institution. Private student loans are available for undergraduate, graduate, and vocational students. Once you know how much you will need to borrow, you can apply for private student loans directly from the lender of your choice.
Private student loans are based on your or your cosigner’s credit. You can choose a fixed or variable rate loan. Interest rates and loan amounts vary by lender, so it’s a good idea to compare multiple lenders. Keep in mind that private student loans may have higher interest rates than federal loans.
If you need private student loans to fill college funding gaps, you can compare private student loan rates with Credible, and it won’t affect your credit.