College Financing: Gaining an Education Without Breaking the Bank

Posted on: in [ Budgeting, Financial Education, Personal Finances ]

College Financing: Gaining an Education Without Breaking the Bank

For many high school graduates, turning the tassel at commencement marks the end of an era and the beginning of the path to higher education. How students fund that path, however, requires careful planning. Our team at State Bank is here to help you find the best route to your future education without sinking into debt. Follow these simple steps to get started financing your collegiate journey.

  • Fill out your FAFSA. Even if you don’t think you’ll qualify, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form to see what the government can offer in terms of grants and loans. You may be eligible for options you never thought of exploring.
  • Compare price tags. Aim to receive admission at three to five schools. Once all the offers are on the table, you can compare and contrast tuition and housing, in addition to their available financial aid packages to see which is the most cost-effective. Once you’ve chosen your school and financial package, speak with family members to coordinate any planned assistance to also help fund your education.
  • Search for private scholarships. Look farther than the scholarships offered through your college. Thousands of prospective students will be vying for various private scholarships hiding through local, statewide, and national organizations. Since most applications require an essay, it can help to create a 500-word template about your achievements, college aspirations, and career goals that you can customize for each find.
  • Work a paid internship. Instead of spending hours at a summer job that simply pays the bills, invest that time in a paid internship. Not only will you earn money to pare down debt before you start school, but you’ll gain practical real-life experience.
  • Know your loan options. The average student graduates with $25,000 in loan debt, and the types of loans you choose can determine your repayment plan for future years. There are two main types of loans to consider, subsidized and unsubsidized.
    • FEDERAL LOANS
    • Stafford Loan: The most popular loan for higher education, the subsidized Stafford Loan carries a fixed interest rate of approximately 6.8%, with the interest being paid by the government during your education. Unsubsidized loans are available at a typically lower interest rate and can also include deferred payments until graduation.
    • Federal PLUS Loan: At 7.21% interest, this option may be undertaken by parents of dependent undergrads willing to co-sign.
    • Perkins Loan: Geared for students with exceptional financial need, these subsidized loans offer a 5% interest rate, but are typically only available at a lower annual amount.

College can be a costly undertaking, but it’s well worth the investment! If you have any questions on financing your education, give us a call and speak with one of our State Bank loan officers today.

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