Paying for College

If you are preparing to attend college, one of the biggest concerns you probably have is how you will pay for college. Some students save money throughout their childhood to help with the tuition and fees through savings accounts or Coverdell Education IRAs, but with the average cost for most colleges and universities around $30,000 per year, only a few can foot the bill without assistance. Generally, most students must rely on some sort of financial help either from scholarships, loans or grants. Here are some tips to help you get started.

How do I apply for federal financial aid and grants?

The FAFSA, officially known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the form that families fill out to apply for federal grants, loans, and work-study funds for college students. It is administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

Does my family earn too much to be eligible for help?

Need-based aid isn’t the only financial aid available. If your family’s income is too high, you may not qualify for certain aid programs — namely, federal grants. But if you want to be considered for other aid, including work-study programs and federal student loans, you still need to fill out the FAFSA. Also, you often need to complete the application to qualify for merit scholarships for grades, SAT scores or athletics.

Do I need to apply for Financial aid more than once?

Yes, you have to submit the FAFSA every year. Filling out the FAFSA isn’t a one-time-only event. You need to do it every year that you want to be considered for financial aid.

What if I don’t qualify for federal financial aid?

If you don’t qualify for financial aid you can also take out a loan to help pay for college. There are federal loans that are available for students as well as loans through the credit union.

Remember, we’re here to help. So if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to chat with us online or stop by one of our branches.

Until the next time,

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