Footing the Bill
College is expensive, and figuring out how to pay for it can be a full-time job. Create a spreadsheet or wall calendar as soon as you embark on the process; keep an eye on deadlines; and check out “Graduation? Check!”
Grants and Scholarships
- These are monetary awards or gifts made to individuals (often merit- or performance-based).
- Many awards are small — but they really add up!
- Start by talking to your guidance counselor, then check out local civic organizations, place(s) of worship, charitable foundations, and city and state websites.
- Most schools offer in-house financial aid programs, including scholarships, tuition or fee remissions, and campus employment, to offset the costs of attendance.
- To qualify for most of this aid, simply complete your FAFSA well in advance of the annual deadline.
- The federal government offers Pell Grants (need-based; no repayment) and student loans to fill in the gaps left by other funding sources.
- All student loans must be repaid in full, starting 6 months after leaving school.
- Be cautious about taking on more loan debt than you can handle! Loans cannot be discharged, even in a bankruptcy.