Financial aid and college affordability are key topics this election year. And both Trump and Hillary are campaigning to make continuing education a reality. Even President Barack Obama has taken an interest, saying America will soon have the highest number of college graduates in the world by 2020.
Giving students the monetary opportunity to continue education, whether undergraduate or graduate is the goal moving forward. Most students continuing education do receive some form of financial aid through one college affordability program or another.
Getting financial aid is easier than ever, with universities, government, and private lenders stepping in for college affordability. And the list of college affordability resources continues to grow.
From loans to grants, let’s examine financial aid and affording college for you to achieve your academic goals.
Financial Aid and College Affordability: Understanding the Real Cost of Your Degree
Don’t let a college’s tuition and fees derail your academic goals. Often times those tuition prices are much lower after researching your financial aid and college affordability options.
When choosing your undergrad or graduate degree university, there are often separate total amounts to look at. The tuition and fees listed by the college, and the net price of your degree based on the financial aid and college affordability you will receive.
The net price of a university is often much lower than what they have listed. Fantastic college affordability tools most universities have on their websites are net price calculators. These calculations will take into account your financial aid and give you the real number you will need to focus on.
Normally you’d have to go to a college’s site and enter in your information to find out your net price estimate for that school, but on College Raptor you can enter your information just once, and see your estimate for nearly every college in the country—for FREE!
The Federal Government is the Top Source of Financial Aid
In order to utilize any university’s net price calculator, you need to know the financial aid and college affordability loans, grants, and scholarships you are eligible for. These financial aid resources come from multiple sources. You can check basic financial aid eligibility on the U.S. Department of Education website.
The major source for college affordability is the federal government. In fact, over the next decade, government student loans will be in upwards of $170 billion.
After the federal government, there are several secondary sources. These sources are universities, state governments, banks, and private lenders. Many private lenders include corporations, nationwide clubs or non-profits, as well as religious organizations.
Types of College Affordability Available for Your Next Academic Year
Financial aid options available come in many shapes and sizes. The great news is that the different types can be used together for maximum college affordability.
Loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study programs are the four main financial aid types.
Combining them makes your education net price achievable. For example, you may be eligible for free money via grants and scholarships, and complementing them with a work-study program can make your academic net price far lower than you would have ever expected.
Continuing Education? Where and When to Apply for Financial Aid
The first step in securing financial aid gaining access to invaluable college affordability is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will give you your aid eligibility options from government and universities.
Filling out your FAFSA application may be time-consuming, but it is certainly worth the college affordability benefits you will be awarded. The deadline for submitting your financial aid application and other materials begins October 1.
Deadlines like October 1 are very important in your academic success. The U.S. Department of Education also outlines a few easy steps to complete after filing your FAFSA.
Earning a degree and continuing your education is essential to your overall growth. College can be expensive, however, you can take essential steps to ensure money is not an obstacle. Achieve your academic goals and open the door to a rewarding future via college affordability.
Check out College Raptor’s new Student Loan Finder to compare lenders and interest rates!