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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 $3500 to $5,500, depending on the year in school. The interest rate on these loans is 3.4%. The unsubsidized Direct Loans allow for $5,500 to $20,500 minus any subsidized amount received. Interest rates on the unsuubsidized is 6.8%.

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. 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 7.9%. .

3. Perkins Loans

Federal Perkins Loans are low interest loans for both undergraduate and graduate students, depending on financial need. Perkins loans are made by and repaid to your school. Since the school may have a limited amount of Perkins funding, the earlier you get your paperwork in, the better chance you may have of reeiving a Perkins Loan. Interest rate is set at 5% for these loans. Undergrads can receive up to $5,500, while graduate students may receive up to $8,000.

Grants

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 2012-2013 school year is $5550. 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. 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.

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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