Last year, there was over $31 billion in unmet financial need according to StudentLoan.com. When you are struggling to find a way to pay for college, you don’t want to just leave that money out there. Take advantage of the options available to you sooner than later.
Federal Student Loans
Consider a government loan based upon your financial needs such as a Stafford Loan. To determine your need, fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) . It’s important to know what school you plan to attend before completing this form. Also, there are strict guidelines and deadlines so make sure you are prepared.
The worksheet will take into account your estimated college expenses and any financial aid and scholarships you will receive. The Student Aid Report you receive back will tell you how much your family is expected to contribute toward college expenses. The difference between that and the cost of attending college is the amount you may be able to borrow.
College Financial Aid
Speak to your college about all financial aid options available to you. This aid is intended to help students pay education-related expenses including tuition, fees, room and board, books, and supplies for education at public and private colleges.
Ask your college for a Financial Aid Form to complete—there are strict guidelines and deadlines so make sure you are prepared.
Free Money—Scholarships and Grants
When you are weighing your options, it is always best to first consider free money—this includes scholarships and grants. College Scholarships is a good website that gathers available scholarship and grant opportunities for you to view all in one place, along with helpful application tips.
Every year the BECU Foundation awards scholarships to high school seniors and college undergrads who demonstrate excellence in the classroom and community. Since 1995 the Foundation has awarded over $1.4 million to over 660 students. To learn more about applying for this scholarship, visit www.becu.org/scholarships.
College Funding and Planning Help
BECU offers a free web-based college planning service for members. This service is offered through our collaboration with Collegiate Funding Solutions. It can help you make smart, informed college planning and financial decisions—helping you to save money on your out-of-pocket college costs. Get More Details
Other Resources to Consider
Make sure to take full advantage of high school guidance offices and college financial aid offices. They are there to help you find ways to pay for college that fit your needs and specific financial situation.