This article was provided by College Ave Student Loans. Learn more about our collaboration with College Ave Student Loans.

Most students qualify for some form of financial aid. Whether you come from a military family, have stellar grades, or demonstrate financial need, there are loans, grants, and scholarships that are designed to help you achieve your goals.

The most important first step you should take when figuring out how to pay for college is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. This form will determine your eligibility for financial assistance like federal loans, grants, work-study benefits and even some merit aid. The form can be completed online and we’ve made a helpful guide to get you through the steps of applying for the FAFSA.

Once you’ve completed the FAFSA, you’ll get a better idea of your options, check out our list of six ways to pay for college:

1. Scholarships

Scholarships offer money for college that does not need to be paid back. They often cover a specific area of study, interest, qualification, or achievement, and are funded by many different providers. Some examples of scholarship categories include academic, athletic, for minority students, military families, writers, LGBTQ, and so many more. There are many scholarships out there, Jovia offers scholarships as well as our collaborators College Ave, which offers a $1,000 monthly scholarship.

2. Grants

Grants, like scholarships, do not need to be repaid. They may come in the form of private grants from your institution, state funds, or federal funds like the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant is the largest federal grant program for undergraduate students. It’s awarded to students who demonstrate financial need to help them pay for college. The amount varies depending on full- or part-time student status, the cost of your school, and the duration of your studies.

3. Work-Study

A work-study program provides part-time employment opportunities while you’re in school. Available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, work-study helps those with financial need pay for tuition costs, fees, or other costs like room and board. The U.S. Department of Education reports that there are roughly 3,400 participating post-secondary institutions offering work-study on or off-campus. If you qualify, make sure you take advantage of it while you’re in school.

4. Your Own Income and Savings

After the above options have been exhausted, it’s time to start looking for other ways to pay for college. Paying for college is expensive but working and earning while in school and during the summer will help cover college living expenses and help pay for tuition. If overlooked, consider any college savings not yet tapped into. A 529 college savings account is a state sponsored and tax advantage way to save and pay for college that would be beneficial to use for college expenses.

5. Federal Student Loans

Borrowing money through federal student loans is also one of the most common methods of paying for college. Federal loans, which are issued by the government, are categorized into two types for undergraduate students: direct subsidized (based on financial need) and direct unsubsidized loans (not based on financial need). They offer a low fixed interest rate and flexible repayment options. Federal student loans do have annual and lifetime limits, putting a cap on how much you can borrow through federal loans alone.

6. Private Student Loans

Private student loans are provided by banks, credit unions, and other private lenders, and should be used to pay for college costs that aren’t covered by scholarships, grants, savings, or federal financial aid. With private student loans you can borrow up to 100% of your cost of attendance which can include tuition, fees, room & board, and other college costs. Private student loans offer variable or fixed interest rates, and you can pay them while you’re in school or when you graduate. Each private loan has different terms, so if you’re approved, you and your potential cosigner should map out a repayment schedule to build and maintain good credit.

Make your education bright!

Jovia in collaboration with College Ave Student Loans can help cover the cost of college.

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