With college costs on the rise and exceeding $40,000 a year in some cases, college bills have become increasingly more difficult to pay. Often times, salary, assets and savings, including education plans, are not enough to cover your family’s contribution. Financial aid can help reduce the costs of college but families are still often left with a considerable bill to pay.
Ideally, you should attempt to get as much free money as possible before turning to loans to cover college costs. You may receive grants and/or scholarships in your financial aid package from your school but outside scholarships are also available to help families fund a higher education. Local scholarships are widely available and are often easier to obtain than national scholarships (visit RIScholarships.com to search local scholarships in RI).
Remember, scholarships are not just for straight-A students and exceptional athletes. Many scholarships are available to financially-needy students or to students with certain interests, students that belong to community or religious organizations, or are children of employees of a particular company.
Once you have exhausted your “free money” options, you might consider taking a look at a payment plan, parent or student education loan, or a home equity loan. Your individual situation will help determine which option is right for you.
For help determining how to meet your college bill, use our calculator.