With today’s soaring tuition fees, the question on everyone’s mind is: how do you pay for college? While there are many sources of aid and funding, two options stand above the rest. The two best sources to start with are the FAFSA and scholarships.
Filling the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a prerequisite for receiving grants and low-cost federal student loans. You have to submit the FAFSA every year to receive financial aid for that year. The big advantage of taking federal student loans is that they have a lower rate of interest and more flexible payment options after you graduate. The FAFSA is also required for many college applications, outside scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities. If you do not submit the FAFSA, your only option then is to pay out of pocket or take a private student loan, which can be an expensive alternative.
Scholarships is the best source of free money to use towards college. There is no limit to the number of scholarships you can apply to, or the awards that you can accept. Just think about that for a moment—every dollar you win, you don’t have to pay back or take out in student loans. It doesn’t get better than that. Yes, you have to spend time looking for and applying to scholarships but it’s a small price to pay for such a huge reward.
But private loans are often still necessary to cover any funding gaps. If that’s the case, you’ll need a student loan that fits you. Use College Raptor’s free Student Loan Finder to compare lenders and interest rates side by side.