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College is expensive. Some look at it as four-year party with one hell of a cover charge. But for most people, paying for college is the largest debt they will ever have.
To lower the cost, students look for some form of financial aid. Financial aid comes in many forms, loans, grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and tuition waivers. There are many options out there but where should you look?
First look for scholarships and apply for as many as you can. Unlike loans, scholarships don’t need to be paid back and often good for tuition, books and living expenses. Do some research; there are scholarships for everything, not just good grades. There a scholarships for the left-handed, different ethnic backgrounds, future studies and even a scholarship for those who got straight Cs in high school. There is no limited to the amount of scholarship you can apply for or receive.
Grants also provide for money for school that doesn’t need repayment. Grants are usually based on financial need but are often easier to apply for.
There are many options for loans. Individual schools, banks, credit unions and even the government offer specialized student loans. If you are considering this, look for financial institutions that offer flexible installment options like Plain Green Loans. Most student loans have deferred payment until after graduation, but some want payment immediately. Learn about what loans you qualify for based on your personal or family income. You might qualify for low or zero-interest loans keeping your debt much lower than a traditional bank loan.