Education savingsToday, more and more students are recognizing the value of a college education. In 2002, 80% of tenth graders expressed a desire to go to college, but unfortunately only a fraction of those ended up going onto college and earning degrees.

One of the problems that many college students face is money. They don’t have the money to pay for living expenses as well as tuition and fees while College tuition has risen "almost 10-fold in the past 30 years" according to College Board. In 2009, the average tuition and fees at a public four-year college was $6,585 a year and that figure didn’t include books.

As these numbers show, the costs of a college education can be pricey but financial aid is available. There are grants, scholarships, loans, and work study which can help students pay for college. Grants are a great way to pay for college because students don't have to pay them back.

The government has a lot of money set aside in order to help students go to college. The stimulus bill alone allocated $17 billion in additional funds to Pell Grants. Pell Grants are determined by the government and typically go to students with low Expected Family Contribution scores. So in order to apply students must fill out the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Interested individuals should visit our Types of Grants and Pell Grant pages in order to receive more information.

Scholarships are another great option. When it comes to scholarships there are billions of dollars available. Schools, companies, organizations, and even individuals fund them. Although these can be trickier to find and apply for its free money and many scholarships allow students to have more than one at the same time. There are many different types; some are based on academics, sports, degree programs, need, hobbies, interests, and even quirks that people have. There are tons out there and many scholarships are never even applied for. If a student is dedicated and willing to spend the time then the chances are very high that they can land a scholarship.

Now if you don’t qualify to receive grants and either didn’t get a scholarship or didn’t want to spend the time looking, then student loans are another great option. There are loans available through the federal, state government and your school along with private institutions. The terms of the loan are most likely going to be better if it’s from the government. The two most common types of student loans are the Stafford Loans and Perkins Loans. And in order to qualify for these loans students must first fill out the FAFSA because most if not all of the money is coming from the government.

To learn more visit the Perkins Loans and Stafford Loans pages. Another option available to students is the Work Study program. They are available to both undergraduate and graduate students. And the great thing about them is that students get money from the government in order to pay for their education. The student’s Federal Work Study (FWS) award will determine the hours the student works on or off-campus.

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