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Cost is one of the most important factors to consider when applying to college. Fortunately, there are a variety of financial aid options to explore.

Applying to College: Financial Aid

The Federal Student Aid Office offers information on all things related to applications for federal financial aid. The first step, though, is determining whether or not you are going to apply for federal loans. Access their website to learn about the different types of loans and what they mean. This will explain the difference between federal and private student loans, the types of federal student loans available, how much money you can borrow in federal student loans, what you should consider when taking out federal loans and how you get federal loans.

A financial decision of this scale needs your serious consideration, so educate yourself on your other college financing options as well. These include grants, which do not have to be repaid and are offered by both colleges and the state and federal government. In addition, there are also countless private scholarships available, even at Newport Harbor High School. Click here for information about scholarships you can apply for through Newport Harbor, but also conduct your own research to find other private scholarships. These can be given for very specific qualities, such as playing a particular sport, having a particular hobby, attending a particular school, belonging to a particular identity group, or they can be purely based on academic merit. Some scholarships may only offer small rewards, but every little bit helps. There are also other methods to pay for college, such as work-study programs, which allow you to study at a low cost or for free in exchange for working or teaching. You can also seek out job opportunities on or near campus.

Colleges have made great strides in accommodating applicants from all economic backgrounds. Many colleges, including highly competitive schools, do not discriminate and offer financial aid even to undocumented applicants. Check colleges’ websites for their requirements for financial aid to see if you are eligible. Financial aid can depend on your household income and your academic record, among many other factors.

Although private schools typically charge higher tuition than public schools, some may offer financial aid packages to qualifying students that cover most or all of the cost. If you are really interested in a school, you do not necessarily have to rule it out just based on cost; see what kinds of financial assistance might be available to you. For example, did the cost of a school like Stanford ever scare you? In fact, Stanford will cover all costs, including tuition, room, board, and miscellaneous fees, for students with an annual household income below 65,000 dollars.

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