Pay for College

Every dollar makes a difference on the path to higher education and the more free money you can grab, the better. Whether it's scholarships, grants, work-study, or even crowdfunding – check out your options before you borrow.

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  • Deciphering Award Letters – As award letters start to stream in from the colleges you hope to attend, you may notice they are all different. Watch this video to learn about the common components of award letters and how you should compare them.
  • Federal Vs. Private Student Loans – Generally, there are two types of student loans: federal student loans and private student loans.
  • Your Starting Point: The FAFSA – It's a mouthful, but important. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form required by U.S. colleges and universities to determine eligibility for need-based financial aid. It is available as an online form, an app, and in hard copy.
  • EFC and Financial Aid – One way to reduce the cost of college is through financial aid.
  • When Should I Apply for Scholarships? – Yesterday, today, tomorrow, and right now. The best time to apply for scholarships is all the time. There are, however, some scholarship "prime times."
  • Private vs. PLUS loans: 5 Key Differences – You have a lot of options for financing your child's education. In fact, as you face a sea of pamphlets and brochures, you might think you have too many options.
  • What's a FICO Score? – A credit score is a number between 300 and 850 that is assigned to each person to determine her "creditworthiness." The higher the score, the more creditworthy a person is – meaning, the more likely she is to be offered a loan or other forms of credit. To formulate this number, credit scoring models evaluate how many credit cards a person has, how long she has had them, how quickly she pays back her card balance, and how much money she owes on her accounts.
  • When Should I submit the FAFSA? – If you're wondering when to submit your FAFSA, you're in good company. While the official "open date" for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for Fall 2019 is October 1, 2018, many students and families will delay submitting the form until early in 2019. Filling out the FAFSA on October 1 or as soon as possible after that date may seem early, but it's important.
  • 8 Options for Repaying Your Federal Student Loans – If you recently graduated from college with federal student loans, the countdown to repaying them is already on. Here's the typical scenario.
  • How to Boost Your Credit Score – Congratulations! You've just graduated from college, and you're starting a real job. Your life as a grown-up has officially begun. So now it's time to boost that credit score.
  • Your Refi Checklist and FAQs – Let's get to the point. Here's checklist of what private lenders typically want to see early in the refi process.
  • Loan Forgiveness, Forbearance, and Deferment – When it's time to pay back your student loans, you may hear terms like loan "forgiveness," "forbearance," and "deferment." But what do they mean – and how do they apply to you? Here’s a quick summary.