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Paying for college

May 22, 2015

Here’s a great idea…

According to a recent survey by Sallie Mae (a financial services company that specializes in education) parents and students cover college expenses with a combination of grants, scholarships, savings, income, and loans. Careful consideration of funding options can help families stretch their dollars.

In other words…

Many recent or soon to be high school graduates have already enrolled in college for Fall 2015, but they may not have all of the funding in place to pay for it. Funding deadlines are quickly approaching – it’s crunch time for making financial decisions about college.

How this applies to you…

Consider the following funding options and seek out those funding options that will work best for your student and family.

Grants and Scholarships: The preferred source of funding but it typically only covers 26% of expenses. Check with the college’s financial aid office. Applications are due June 1 for the Arkansas Academic Challenge scholarship.

Savings and income: Look next to savings and income from students and parents. Most families cover part of college expenses with income from work or money they saved. Students can find a summer job or work part-time during the school year.

Loans: About 30% of students have some type of student loan. Loans can be federal or private. FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) deadline is June 30.

  • Limit loan amounts to the minimum you’ll need. Don’t automatically take the maximum amount for which you qualify.
  • Seek federal loans first. Interest rates are low and there are more protections for repayment.
  • Use private loans as a last resort. Compare rates and terms. Use a reputable lender.

Credit Cards: Don’t use credit cards to pay tuition, dorm fees, or rent. Limit charges to amounts that can be easily repaid or don’t use credit at all.

To find out more…

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