It is without a doubt that college tuition and other related expenses are continuously on the rise. For many students and parents, it is becoming increasingly difficult for families to afford all of the costs associated with getting a top-notch college education. Nonetheless, there are a variety of options that students and families can use in order to afford school. Whether its scholarships, financial aid or student loans, here is a comprehensive overview of different ways parents and students can get financial assistance.

Scholarships

Getting a scholarship or fellowship is perhaps the most common method that students can use to help pay for school. Usually these financial awards are based on merit such as academics. However, there are many scholarships and fellowships available for those who are ethnic minorities, women, religious minorities and other groups of individuals who generally have had to face mounting barriers to receive an education. There are also a variety of fellowships available to those who plan on entering a in-demand career such as education or engineering. Thankfully now we have plenty of resources to find information on a wide range of opportunities based on your unique set of circumstances. There are many on-line resources that will give students and parents the ability search different education-based financial awards to help pay for college.

Grants

Grants are second most common form of tuition and expense financing. Grants are usually offered by both state and federal governments to those who can demonstrate some sort of limited income or financial hardship. The most common education grant given to students is the Pell Grant, however, recent law changes have made it more and more difficult for students to get this grant. Other that are available are the TEACH Grant which is given to those interested in pursuing a degree in education and plan on teaching in a high-needs community such as an inner-city or rural neighborhood. Students should talk with a financial aid counselor to explore different education grant opportunities.

Student Loans

Student loans are often a last resort for many students. Education loans come in two different forms: private and government-subsidized. Many private banks offer parents the option to finance their children’s education costs through private loans. The interest rates typically are higher and the repayment options after graduation tend to be not as lenient compared to government-subsidized loans. Federal government-subsidized loans typically have lower interest rates, generous repayment plans and students have the ability to have their debt wiped out after ten years if they pursue a career in public service.

Other forms of financial aid

There are other forms of financial aid that students and parents can consider. The first option is looking into work-study programs offered by various universities. In exchange for lowered tuition rants and housing assistance, many universities will require students to work in an university office for a certain amount of hours per week. Students also are required to keep up a certain GPA in order to remain in good standing with their work-study program.

There is no need to worry about being burned with the rising school costs. It’s just a matter of doing your research and exploring different options when it comes to being able to afford expenses. The internet is filled with a plethora of resources, just do careful planning and do not wait until the last minute to start exploring different options. Many awards and programs have deadlines that are anywhere between six months to a year out. Parents should start looking for different awards while their children are enrolled in the latter half of their sophomore year in high school.