Saving for College
College is expensive, especially with rising tuition rates, books and the need for faster and better computers. But, you can make college a little more affordable by planning ahead.
Finding Financial Aid
Believe it or not, applying for Federal Financial Aid isn’t hard. Visit Federal Student Aid and start your Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
It’s a simple form. Yes, it takes time, but you can save your progress along the way. Just be sure to start yours shortly after October 1 of the year before you plan to attend college or other schools. That’s because the money available for grants and financial aid is on a first-come-first-served basis.
Basics about Student Loans
Most families and students require some form of student loan for college. But that doesn’t mean you need to max out and incur life-altering debt either. When you apply for financial aid, you will be offered several types of student loans, including Direct Subsidized Loans (for those with proven financial need), Direct Unsubsidized Loans (interest accrues while in school), and Direct PLUS Loans (with this one your parents co-sign).
Free Money is Available
There are a lot of federal and state programs that offer scholarships. The U.S. government has put together a site that can help you find thousands of them, click to start your search. While looking for scholarships, don’t forget to apply for the InRoads Digital Scholarship.
Establish Your Financial Life Before College
You might already have a savings account, but a checking account and debit card can really help prepare you for college life. Be sure to login to Online Banking every day to check your account and double-check where you spend your money. Also, be aware that your debit card subtracts money from your checking account immediately or soon after you make a purchase, making it the perfect method of buying what you need without going into debt.
Get a Part-Time Job
Getting a part-time job now can help you save for college. Check out our article “How to Get a Job” for some great advice on landing solid employment, keeping your boss happy, and making the most of your work life.
InRoads is Here for You
Get more tips about finances and life as a teenager with Elements of Money from InRoads Credit Union.