Did you know that of the 3.2 million high school graduates, only 2.2 million enrolled in college? There are a few reasons for this vast difference. Some graduates just wanted to jump into the workforce, others did not think higher education was necessary. The main reason students did not enroll in college is due to the finances it takes to attend. The average price for college ranges from $17,000 - $55,000. These prices are unattainable to most individuals. Between daily expenses and a rising economy, access to disposable income for education is limited. For this reason, there are sources to help students find the funds they need.
Scholarships are a common source of financial aid. Scholarships can be awarded through the colleges the applicant gets accepted into. These are normally merit or athletic-based. Merit awards are determined by the student’s GPA and extracurriculars. Athletic scholarships are given when a student gets recruited to play for a university, normally division 1 or 2 schools. Scholarships can also be found through external parties. Organizations that provide opportunities have scholarships that students can apply for in just about every category. These categories range from:
- Community Service
- Ethnic Minorities
- First Generation
- Unique Hobbies
- Military Affiliation
- Financial Need
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A student loan is another option of aid students take advantage of in order to fund their education. This is money an individual borrows to pay fees upfront, but will have to pay back later with interest. There are different types of loans: subsidized, unsubsidized, and direct PLUS. Subsidized loans are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. Unsubsidized loans are made for both undergraduate and graduate students. This loan is not based on need. The direct PLUS loan is for graduate students and the parents of dependent undergraduate students. This loan is not based on need, but it covers the leftover expenses that are not covered by financial aid. In order to apply for a student loan, participants will have to fill out FAFSA. This can be completed here: https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. Loans are a great resource, but can land some students in debt. For tips to better manage student loans visit: https://blog.resources4me.com/Managing-Student-Loan-Debt-on-a-Budget.
Grants are the best option to receive the necessary funding for school. It’s free money students never have to pay back. One grant, in particular, is called the Federal Pell Grant. This grant covers all the necessities a student needs from tuition to living expenses. To learn how to apply visit: http://amazing-options.com/wall#/blog/5fb2ddc452c4e20643b3081d. In order to apply to federal grant opportunities, students must fill out FAFSA as mentioned before. To see other grant opportunities click here.