With higher education costs continuing to rise each year, it has become more important than ever that students have a good understanding of the costs associated with college, as well as the expected income that comes with a post-secondary degree. With over $1.8 TRILLION dollars worth of debt for the entire United States, college costs seem insurmountable. By using the calculator you’ve taken a first step to understanding your future finances.
Our higher education calculator is designed to give students the above knowledge. To understand what they are getting themselves into as they potentially make one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. This isn’t meant to scare you, this is meant to prepare you. In fact, according to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics, only 11 percent of ninth graders correctly estimated the tuition and fees for one year at a public four-year college in their state. This lack of knowledge is what we’re aiming to avoid.
So you used the calculator, you realize that college is going to be expensive and potentially out of your price range, what are some things you need to consider? (this is not an exhaustive list)
FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that you have to fill out if you want financial aid from the federal government for post-secondary education. Many use FAFSA to determine eligibility for nonfederal student aid funds that may have early deadlines or limited funding. If you are eligible, filling out the FAFSA allows for you to get funds that will help reduce your college costs. Note that the sooner you complete the FAFSA the more aid you could be eligible for.
Scholarships: Scholarships are free financial aid awards given to students who meet certain criteria. There are thousands of scholarships out there. Scholarships can be given by universities if you hit certain academic criteria (GPA, ACT score, etc.), athletic scholarships, and from organizations that want to help students. There are many places that provide scholarships so this is a great way to help reduce your college costs.
Student Loans: Many students have to take out loans, in fact, 69% of students take out student loans. When taking out student loans be aware of interest rates that you pay and only take out as much as you need. Many student loans with give you 10 years to pay off your student loans, so when you are using our calculator be aware that not all loans with give you up to 30 years to pay it off. One tip when you’re paying off your student loans is to pay off the highest interest loan first.
The thought of college costs can be overwhelming, but if you take all of the information that you received we hope that it will help you in your decision. If you are interested in learning more about what you can do don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to help you further. We are not providing financial advice. We are here to help make sense of what college costs will be and hope that we can help students and parents understand what they’re getting themselves into.