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The Best Way To Find College Loans

Dec 23, 2007
In most families, parents are the main source of funding for college costs. With the costs of college spiraling upwards, however, parents and students often need to find additional sources of money. Here are some ideas on how many families and college bound students can pick up some extra help.

The best sources of college money are grants and scholarships. These financial aids do not have to be paid back. The difference between the two is that a grant is money awarded on the basis of financial need; a scholarship is awarded based on many different criteria such as athletic abilities, honors programs, specific educational needs.

The next best source of funds is through federal grants. The Pell Grant Program is one of the most popular. These are government grants that are awarded each year. They are given to qualifying undergraduate students. You can pick up applications for these grants at high schools or colleges.

There are also many state grants and state scholarships available. State grants and scholarships are available to students who are legal residents of the state offering the grants and scholarships. It should be noted that many state programs require that the student attend a local college or university. There are some exceptions to this.

It will vary from school to school but college grants and scholarships are a great way to find college money. Normally, students have to demonstrate financial need and meet certain school requirements in order to be eligible but these programs can be very helpful even if only in helping pay for books or living expenses.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation is the largest private scholarship source in the US. These financial awards are given based on Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test scores that are taken by high school juniors. For more information on this awards program you should visit with your high school guidance counselor.

Many students participate in the Reserve Officer Training Program (ROTC) hosted by many colleges. Those students who agree to serve in the military as commissioned officers after graduation can qualify for scholarships. High school guidance counselors have a list of ROTC schools that you can look at.

Stafford Loans can be an outstanding source of financing college. This is a government subsidized program and is available to qualifying students based on a needs analysis. Repayment of the loan does not kick in until six months after graduation.

The PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) program is a new program and it allows parents another good way to find money for college. Parents of undergraduate students are eligible to borrow regardless of their current income. It should be noted, however, that PLUS loans are used primarily to assist with the cost demands of very large tuition bills. You can learn more about PLUS loans by doing an online search.

These are only a few of the many sources of college money that is available. Your local library or college financial aid counselor can offer even more possibilities and it worth the effort to search them out.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for The Thrifty Scot, please visit us at Student Loan and Personal Loan
Visit The Housing Mess: What Happened?
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