how to deal with the cost
making opportunities affordable
Paying for It: Be Open to What's Possible
When it comes to dealing with the cost, there's no need to get stressed out, because for most families, financial aid resources are available. It will probably take a combination of research, preparation, planning and persistence, but paying for college is possible. Cost should never prevent any student from pursuing postsecondary education. A better life is within reach for your child or the child you care for.
Your First Step: Understand Federal Student Aid
If you need help paying for education after high school, your first resource should be the federal government. One of the best ways to learn about all the available federal loans, grants and work-study opportunities is in Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid.
Use the Financial Preparation section of the Student Aid on the Web Parent page as a starting point to improve your financial literacy, learn about savings plans and tax benefits and find links to many helpful tools and resources.
||Need more help? Get answers to your specific questions from the federal government.
"In high school maybe twice a year we would get letters from different people saying, 'Come to this workshop and we will help you find money for school'. And so me and my mom actually went to one. And they made it seem like the FAFSA would be so hard to fill out. So not long after that I was at the public library and I obtained a copy of that year's FAFSA and me and my mom went through it. And it's not hard at all. It's simple and the instructions are there"
Louisiana State University
Borrowing vs. Cashing In: Know the Way to Go
If you plan on helping to pay, consider taking out loans from the federal government. If you are like many families, you may worry about borrowing money. While it's true that you need to borrow wisely and be responsible about repayment, you should consider education loans an investment in your family's future.
Some people might prefer to cash in their investments rather than borrow. This may be a bad idea. Why? Because the interest rate charged on education loans is usually lower than the interest most investments earn. The Federal PLUS Loan vs. Cashing Investments explains this in detail.
Other key links for parents:
- college.gov's How to Pay section. Get helpful information and resources to help your child pay for college, including scholarships, grants, loans and federal aid.
- Student Aid on the Web Parent page. Find more planning advice and links to many other useful Web sites.
- FAFSA Web site. Learn what kind of information you will need to provide on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and how you can help your high school senior complete the application process.
- FAFSA4caster. Get a head start on the financial aid process and an early idea of how much federal assistance your child can expect.