You can afford college. Explore ways you can pay for education after high school.
How to pay for college
There are many ways to pay for college. This can include financial aid, job earnings, savings, and support from parents or family.
Financial aid is money to help pay for college. Everyone can get financial aid, regardless of income, GPA or citizenship.
You can get financial aid based on need or merit. Need is what your family can contribute to college costs. Merit refers to achievement in academics, sports, or other areas.
|Types of financial aid||What is it||Pay back?||Merit||Need|
|Grants||Money from the state or federal government or the college||No||✓|
|Scholarships||Colleges or organizations give money for good grades, community service, athletic ability, or other unique personal qualities.||No||✓||✓|
|Work-study||Provides part-time jobs, often on campus, to help pay for college costs.||No||✓|
|Loans||Money to borrow for college from the federal government, bank, organization, or person||Yes||✓|
College savings accounts
It’s never too early or late to start saving money for college. There are many types of college savings accounts. Discuss options with a bank or financial institution. Common types include:
- 529 plans that are not taxed
- Individual Development Accounts
Other ways to make college more affordable
Do your best in high school.
Some colleges require you to take placement exams before you can enroll in regular classes. If you have to take remedial classes you still have to pay for them, but they don’t count towards your degree.
Take college credit in high school.
Plan your classes and take a full credit load.
Many students spend more time in college than they need to. Talk to an academic advisor at your school to plan what classes you need to take that will count to your degree.
Consider an apprenticeship.
These pay you for on-the-job training for specific trades while you also take classes.
Join the military.
You can get additional financial aid before, during, or after service.