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Where Do Student Loans Come From?

Oct 25, 2007
Some schools will meet 100 percent of your 'need' in grants and scholarships, and some will meet 100 percent of it in loans and work-study. For the most part, it will definitely be a combination of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study.

The majority of financial aid comes from four primary sources, which are: 1. Federal Government 2. State Government 3. Campus-based programs 4. Private Scholarships.

Starting with the Federal Government programs, there are three major federally based programs: 1) Pell Grants 2) Parent PLUS/SLS Loans 3) Subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Pell Grants: The Federal Pell Grant does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students with extreme financial need.

Parent PLUS/SLS Loans: PLUS stands for "Parent's Loans for Undergraduate Students." These loans are in the parent's name and aren't based upon 'need' but on credit approval.

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans: These loans are available through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) from a bank, credit union or other lenders that participate in the program.

A subsidized loan is based upon the need of the student and the unsubsidized is available to families regardless of the need. Each state differs in their state government based programs.

These can include grants, scholarships, tuition assistance, and loans. The best thing for you to do is to contact the state in which you are planning to attend school at and contact their Office of Higher Education Student Assistant Authority.

Ask for a guide to the programs available to you as a student and any other information that they think might be helpful to you.

Campus based programs are funds that colleges and universities receive from the Federal Government and from private endowments. A specific amount of money is given to a college each year.

Once that money is awarded, there are now more funds available until next year. This is why it is so important to file your financial aid form on time and correctly since aid is awarded on a first come basis.

There are millions of dollars given away each year in private scholarships to deserving students by organizations. It is recommended NOT to pay for scholarship researches.

Finding these scholarships and applying for them can be a frustrating, but rewarding process. Be persistent and apply for all that you can.

The best place to start is in your high school guidance office, then move onto searches on the Internet.
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