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10 ways to pay for college

High College Tuition

The rising cost of a college education is making it difficult for anyone to afford. This site will give you ideas to help you get the money for your college education.

College Loans

1. Federal Direct Loans

The Federal government has a subsidized (and non-subsidized) loan program for low and middle income students. Eligibility is determined through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). Award limits for the subsidized loans are from $3,500 to $5,500, depending on the year in school. The interest rate on these loans disbursed after 1 July 2018 and before 1 July 2019 is 5.05%. The unsubsidized Direct Loans allow for $5,500 to $20,500 minus any subsidized amount received. Interest rates on the unsubsidized loans for Graduate students is 6.6%.

2. Direct PLUS Loans

These are available to the parents (or graduate students) and can be up to the amount of school expenses not covered by other financial aid. For parents, they are called Parents PLUS Loans. For Grad students, they are known as Grad PLUS Loans. To be eligible, the student must be enrolled at least half time in an undergraduate program. The parents'credit history is taken into consideration for the Plus loans. These loans are unsubsidized and the interest rate is set at 7.6% for loans disbursed between 1 July 2018 and 1 July 2019.

3. Perkins Loans

Under federal law, the authority for schools to make new Perkins Loans ended on Sept. 30, 2017, and final disbursements were permitted through June 30, 2018. As a result, students can no longer receive Perkins Loans.
Federal Perkins Loans were low interest loans for both undergraduate and graduate students, depending on financial need. Perkins loans were made by and repaid to your school.


Grants are a different type of animal. They don't have to be repaid, therefore are to be highly prized. Far scarcer than loans and scholarships, they are often dependent on the student's financial need.

4. Pell Grants

The maximum award for the 2018-2019 school year is $6,095 and $6,195 for the 2019-2020 award year. The amount available each year depends on the Federal funding given. The criteria for eligibility include your financial need, your costs to attend school, if you are a full-time or part-time student, and whether or not you will be attending the full year or not.

5. FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants)

Similiar to Pell Grants, FSEOG are given to students of exceptional financial need. They are distributed by the schools and there is no guarantee that you will get one if eligible. The funds are awarded based on the availability of funds at that school. This is one reason to get your FAFSA and other financial aid materials in early. Students who also received Pell Grants will receive priority on the FSEOG. These grants can range from $100 to $4,000.

6. TEACH Grants

Federal TEACH Grants are available to students who are willing to teach in a high-need field, at an eligible school that serves students from low-income families for at least four academic years after graduation. Maximum award amounts are $4,000 per year, but the Budget Control Act of 2011 says that any TEACH Grant that is first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2017, and before Oct. 1, 2018, must be reduced by 6.6 percent from the award amount for which a recipient would otherwise have been eligible; and any TEACH Grant that is first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2018, and before Oct. 1, 2019, must be reduced by 6.2 percent from the award amount for which a recipient would otherwise have been eligible.

7. Institutional Grants

Many colleges provide grants to help make up the difference between college costs and the family's expected contribution through income, savings, loans, and student earnings.

Other institutional grants, also known as merit scholarships or awards, are earned on the basis of academic achievement. Depending on the school. some merit awards are offered only to financially needy students, while others are awarded solely on merit. You need to check with the individual schools to see what is available.

8. Home equity loans

Always a possibility, a great advantage to home equity loans is that you may be able to deduct the interest paid as long as you are itemizing your deductions on your income taxes. Check with your tax advisor to be sure.

9. Personal loans

While an expensive way to go, sometimes they are the only thing available.

10. Scholarships

Make sure you investigate scholarship opportunities. They can come from such diverse places as your school, church, town, work, organizations,

11. Work reimbursement

Many companies provide some tuition reimbursement for employees taking university courses to further their careers. Check with your human resources department.

12. Armed forces

Each of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force) have a tuition reimbursement program for their active duty personnel. Many men and women join the armed forces each year to take advantage of the educational opportunities.

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