With the economy in turmoil, it’s more important than ever to have a solid education. This helps to ensure that you’re qualified for as many jobs as possible, no matter how scarce they may be. However, the cost of college is often a deal-breaker for many people, as the cost of paying for each year of college is continually rising and shows no sign of slowing in the near future. But don’t let these costs deter you. There are many different types of financial aid available – you just have to find them!
The Rising Cost of College
In 2015, CollegeBoard.org released the following figures on the average cost of college within the United States:
- For in-state students attending public colleges, the average cost for tuition and fees only was $10,138.
- For in-state students attending public colleges who plan to live on campus, the average cost for tuition, room, and board was $19,548 per year.
- Out-of-state students will pay an average of $34,031 per year to attend public colleges.
- Attending a private college will increase these costs to $43,921 per year.
In general, these costs have increased an average of 4.8 percent to 6.4 percent each year.
If these numbers scare you, you can see how important it is to learn about and apply for financial aid. Few students can afford to pay for each year of college out of their own pockets, and most parents aren’t able to either. With the right financial aid, however, it’s possible to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to covering the costs of a college education.
Four Main Categories of Financial Aid
Financial aid is assistance provided to college students to help them cover the cost of their education. This money comes from a variety of sources, including the federal and state governments, your college or university, and private funding sources. There are four main categories of financial aid – scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans. Most students will use a combination of these different types of financial aid in order to cover the cost of college.
A Few Final Thoughts
Financial aid is available to help students pay for college. While the paperwork to qualify for scholarships, grants, and loans may seem never-ending, for many students, it’s the only way they’ll be able to pay for college.
Before you determine which category of financial aid is best for you, speak with the financial aid counselors at the colleges you’re interested in attending. They’re very familiar with all the different types of financial aid and can best advise you of your options. There also many websites available that are specifically designed to help students locate various types of financial aid. Research is the key to finding the money you need to pay for college.