For many students, community college provide an opportunity to receive a college education without going broke. But before you jump into classes, you first need to look at any and all financial aid available. Remember, the more time you spend researching and maximizing the money you can receive, the less stress (and debt!) you'll have later. In order to help you grasp the complex process of financial aid, I'm going to breakdown and explain some of the avenues available for upcoming or returning students. To begin, let's look some financial aid sources.
The Department of Education
The Federal financial aid largely looks at need rather than academic achievement, and provides the following three types of loans:
- Stafford Student Loans
- PLUS loans for parents
- Federal Pell Grant
The United States provides a significant amount of money for students who are looking to pursue higher education. While different departments target specific groups, the major aid programs include:
- Federal Pell Grant Program
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program
- Federal Work-Study Program
- Federal Perkins Loan Program
- William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
- Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program
As stated earlier, you must explore all the financial aid available. Once you've applied for all the federal money you can receive, look at what your state provides. Each state offers different programs, so research each one of interest to determine which one has the best financial aid.
Private lenders also offer assistance for students, but the student must have good credit along with a parent with good credit to act as a co-signer. This option has become less popular, but I'm still listing it because I care about your financial aid!
Finally, one must not forget to look at private companies that offer scholarships. If your field of interest (and academic record) match those of a company, they might assist you in paying for school. Since there are various companies that offer scholarships based on specific fields, the best way to research is to narrow your interests and search for companies providing money within that field.
If you feel this process is too long, tiresome, complex, or just annoying, check out some of the services we offer (which comes with a satisfaction guarantee). If you don't have the money for one of our packages, that alright! We'll keep providing tons of free information via this blog, twitter, and facebook! Thanks for stopping by!