Financial aid is a sticky subject for most current and former college students, because if not managed properly, can lead to years or decades of financial stress. Since financial aid is something nearly every college student has, we've decided to create an entire section of our blog dedicated to financial aid. This will include articles on choosing the right loan, how to get a grant, managing your money once you get the loan, and so on.
This first article will introduce you to some of the various financial options available to you. These can include:
·Loans: Student loans are the most common form of financial aid available. The downside to this option is that, eventually, you need to pay these loans back. There are a wide variety of loans available from various venders, including the U.S. government, and many of these vendors have their own entry requirements. Some of the benefits of student loans include low interest rates and a long period of which you can pay the loan back, usually over ten to fifteen years.
·Grants: A grant is like a loan, only you don't have to pay it back. Thus, the requirements for getting a grant are more stringent than getting a loan. Grants are given for a variety of reasons, from good grades to low income level. One of the more popular grants is the Pell Grant, specifically made for low-income students.
·Working on your own: This is probably the least attractive, yet most effective way to earn money for college. I knew a lot of students in college who worked full-time and used that money to pay for the bulk, if not the entirety of their college careers. While it was hard work at the time, the benefit of this is that they have nothing at all to pay back, as well as a sense of satisfaction on paying for something out of your own pocket.
·Military grants: Enlisting in the military as a way to gain money towards college is a popular option, one that is used very frequently by new college students. By enlisting in one of the armed forces, you can become eligible for tuition assistance, certification programs, and so on. One of the more popular options is the Montgomery GI Bill, which grants students $37,224 for college. Specific branches of the armed forces, such as the Marines and the Coast Guard, also have their own programs that can be coupled with the GI Bill.
Whichever of these programs you choose, you should take several factors into account, such as your current income, how much you wish to work outside of school, and whether you fit certain requirements for grants or loans. Ultimately, whichever option you choose, these will help pay for an education that will eventually pay for itself in the years to come.