Financing a child's college education is often one of the largest expenditures a parent will make in preparing and launching their child into the world. However, there's no escaping the fact that college costs are continuing to rise at unprecedented levels. Consequently, these rising costs sometimes can deter college-bound students from pursuing their dreams of achieving a college education. But....in spite of this bleak forecast, there is still hope.
The availability of financial aid-money available from various sources to help students pay for college-can make even an expensive college affordable for a qualified student.
Simply put, financial aid is money awarded to a student to help pay educational costs. Most financial aid is awarded according to individual need and educational costs. The federal government, the state government, post-secondary institutions, and private organizations provide financial aid to eligible students in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and employment.
Grants and scholarships are awarded based on either financial need or merit, and do not have to be paid back. Employment can be a job provided by the college, and it can be on or off campus. A loan is money provided by a bank, the college, or the government, which must be paid back with interest.
Private sources of financial aid come from social and civic organizations, religious organizations, and businesses.
Monies that are provided by the United States Federal Government are commonly referred to as federal student aid. These monies can be used to cover the costs of students' tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. This aid can also be used to help pay for a computer and dependent child care expenses.
Clearly, one of the best investments a parent can make for their children is an investment in their educational future. So, even if you think you won't have the money to go to college, think again. With financial aid and some smart planning now, you could well be on your way to continuing your education beyond high school.