Financial Side of Going to College

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Funding a College Education: Scholarship Grants or Financial Aid?

How much is the cost for a college education?

Is there an available financing scheme?

Let's face the reality. College education is expensive! A lot of parents do a double take when their children are preparing and looking forward to attending a community college or a state university.

There are a lot of things which make up the cost of college education and the tuition fee is just a tiny part of the big picture when it comes to getting into college. Other everyday expenditures include food, transportation, housing, pocket money, and other miscellaneous fees. When all these are added up, they can create a significant portion in financing a college education.

Grants and Scholarships

A lot of families in this day and age, even if they belong to the upper-class society, think about applying for financial aid. College grants and scholarships are the most excellent kind of financial assistance.

Grant and scholarship programs do not entail students or the family to pay back. These could be of two kinds:

(1) based on need, which is given due to the financial inability of the student and the family as a whole, and
(2) based on merit, the talent of the student like in a sport, such as soccer, is the main consideration.

The student’s academic ability also falls under the merit-based college grant and scholarship.

Often, college grants and scholarships combine the merit and need criteria to ease the whole financial aid process. Numerous students and their families are in the look-out for this type of financial aid. However, college grants and scholarships are limited compared with the growing number of students year after year.

Qualifying students can avail themselves of many federal and a number of state scholarship programs. Some of these are the following:

  • Federal or National Pell Grants – this is a program funded nationwide intended to endow assistance to any qualified undergraduate learner pursuing postsecondary schooling. Grants and scholarships of this kind are given to those who have not finished a baccalaureate degree.
The worth of the grant can vary year after year and will depend largely on the financial need of the students, the expenses that will be incurred while attending the chosen university or college, and the availability of funds from the national government.

This type of grant will open opportunity for the students to avail succeeding financial aid from the national government.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) – this is a program for ongoing undergraduate students with outstanding monetary need. However, not all students can avail this type of grant. This will depend on the eligibility of the students and availability of finances of the concerned school.

Another form of financial aid that students and families can turn to are various loans. Unlike many grants, this type of financial assistance will have to be paid back. The financial needs of the family should be considered thoroughly to avoid paying high interest rates.

It is also a must to understand all the terms of lending agencies such as the schedule of repayment and interest rates, before signing paperwork or making a commitment.

Work Study

Work study is a form of financial assistance which calls for students to do labor to sustain their college education. Work study is commonly done on campus and is the most typical form of financial aid in all universities and colleges. Usually, the students will render service to schools for ten to fifteen hours per week.

Scholarships, grants and other forms of financial aid to acquire college education is really multifaceted, confusing at times, and even exasperating. The good thing is college education is a non-refundable and non-biodegradable type of investment. It is for the future!

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Page Updated 7:54 PM Wednesday 9/25/2013