Since it’s becoming increasingly necessary to get more than a high school education, more and more students and parents are wondering how on earth they can finance this additional schooling.
Obviously, most would prefer the government grants for college option, since once you are deemed eligible for this financial aid, and the monies have been transferred to you, you’re done. You never have to worry about paying the money back.
If you’ve ever obtained any type of loan, as the word implies, you are expected to pay it back. And while interest rates may be incredibly low right now, paying back a loan can still be a financial burden.
However, it must be pointed out that there is an advantage to the loan over the grant. With a loan, you can apply for the full amount of your schooling costs, so that very little need come out of pocket. Government grants on the other hand, will not, in most cases, be enough to cover all of your costs. Having said that, fees and tuitions at small community colleges are often lower than those at larger institutions, so choosing a course at one of these will stretch your dollars farther.
One of the main deciding factors on getting a government grant for college is your family’s financial status. If you qualify as a low income family, then your chances at being approved for a grant are higher. Families in higher tax brackets would not be eligible and therefore should be applying for a student loan instead.
So, if you feel you quality as low income, what is your first step towards getting grant money for college? Or maybe you’re not sure what income category you fall into. Either way, the first thing you need to do is fill out an online application called the FAFSA.
And since its first come, first served as far as government grants go, and applications are only accepted until June 2010, you shouldn’t hesitate. Take the steps right now to find out whether you are eligible for a government grant for college, or if you should be seeking a student loan.
Links to the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), the Federal Pell Grant, as well as a variety of different scholarship options can be found at The Financial Aid Site.