How To Pay For College: A Family Guide

College education leads to higher income, job security, and great opportunities in life. But, it may take until age 34 for the average bachelor’s degree recipient to fully recoup these costs.

1. Plan for your child’s college as early as feasibly possible. Get a jump with these six possible ways.

2. Fill out the FAFSA (The Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application. Don’t think of it as an option.

3)Reduce your  Expected Family Contribution (EFC) in legal ways. Parents may want to consider private loans if they borrow above their contribution through their income and savings.

4) Get as much as you can from federal loans for students before private loans. 5) Go for work-study, grants, and scholarship money. Scholarships are merit-based.

If you were selecting based on costs, only in-state four-year and two-year colleges are your least expensive options, benefiting from that state’s taxpayers.

Parent income and savings are the most significant sources at 45% of the total, student income and savings at 8%, and relatives contributions of 2% supplying 55% of college needs.

If you are borrowing, federal loans are far more attractive but have loan limits by year, with the freshman year maximum loan is the lowest at $5,500 rising to a maximum of $12,500 annually.

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