If you are a parent concerned with being able to pay for your child’s college tuition, especially if college is fast approaching for your son or daughter, you should know the aspects of your financial situation that will be reviewed by organizations that are willing to provide financial aid to those in need. If you qualify, your child will have access to public funding that will help him or her get the education necessary to have a brighter future in today’s tough economic times and difficult job market.
As soon as your child is a senior in high school, you should be looking at the financial aid options available to your family. Do not wait until the last minute, as these funding institutions may have deadlines for their applications.
Free Money in the Form of Grants
The great thing about grants is that they are given out based upon a family’s financial need and they do not need to be paid back like loans do. Instead, these tax-free forms of funding are like gifts given to your family to use to put your child through college. Do some research into grants that are given to individuals who earn low incomes and make sure you submit fully completed applications, along with all necessary paperwork proving your eligibility, by the deadline specified.
You can receive grants from both public and governmental agencies as well as private organizations. Your child’s high school can probably point you in the right direction, but you can also find grant opportunities online.
Scholarships for Academic Performance
Encouraging your children to always strive to do their best in high school is the first step to attaining financial aid, in the form of scholarships, from colleges. Many colleges and universities will gladly offer financial assistance to those students they have accepted into their programs and have found to be excellent students. Therefore, the harder your son or daughter works during his or her high school years, the more likely it is that he or she will be awarded a valuable scholarship.
Sometimes scholarships are awarded upon the completion of a college application and subsequent acceptance into the college, however you can also find scholarship opportunities online or request applications from the college your child is planning on attending. Also, some scholarships are based upon academic performance, while others are based upon financial need, ethnicity, or other distinguishing factors.
Borrow Money in the Form of Loans
If you take out one or more loans to pay your child’s college tuition, you need to understand that this is not free money like grants and scholarships. Instead, you are required to pay back the loans within a specified amount of time. Often, your child will graduate and get a job and still be paying off his or her student loans as a result of the interest that is tacked onto the principal that is borrowed. The longer it takes your family to pay back the loan, the more interest you will be paying in the long run.