The fall semester is approaching fast, and many students are worrying about how they will be able to handle the expenses for the upcoming semester. College is expensive, and prices are only increasing. It is important to weigh out your options before choosing the right student aid. You would be surprised to find out how easy and inexpensive it is found support and pay it off. Here are some tips for finding the right student aid for you:
Review Your Options
There are many different types of student aid, so it is important to do your research and pick the right one for you. Explore free money before applying for loans. There are many different Ways to Pay for College and student aid that you don’t have to pay back, such as grants and scholarships. Grants are an excellent way to get money for school, and the best part is—you don’t have to pay them back! You can apply for grants, loans, and work-study programs through FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). FAFSA is free to apply for; you just have to make sure you meet the application deadlines.
First, it is important to avoid scams when it comes to student aid, especially loans. Do not pay for free services! Some websites will charge you to complete the FASFA—don’t do it! These sites are not affiliated with U.S. Department of Education. Secondly, you want to avoid high-interest loans. The interest rate on federal student loans is almost always lower than private loans. Also, federal loans are not just need-based; Direct Subsidized Loans do not require one to demonstrate financial need. Loans can be overwhelming at times, but that’s why it is important to inform yourself on all of the different types of loans. Some loans even have fixed payment options, like Sallie Mae students loans. Even a monthly payments of just $25—the cost of two pizzas—can help you graduate with less debt.You can find useful tips and information on Student Loans at the Sallie Mae website.
It is always vital to make a budget each month. Estimate your expenses for entertainment (movies, going out to eat, shopping, etc.), bills (rent, the internet, etc.), gas, textbooks and school supplies. Remember always to estimate higher just in case. Making sure you stay on budget will ensure that you don’t spend more than you have, thus taking out smaller loans and graduating with less debt. You can borrow less than what your school offers you, so you have less to pay back after college. You just have to budget well and remember only to acquire what you need.
Tip: Always remember that it is cheaper to rent textbooks or buy them used from online websites. Never pay full price!
For more information also see the following infographic: