Planning to pay for college while enrolled in grades K-12 can be
overwhelming at first. This feeling can create a barrier to applying to
and attending college, however it is not too late to begin planning to
pay for college.
While paying for college is the responsibility of families, it is
also a partnership between families, students, the government, and
colleges to expand educational access to qualified students therefore
students and parents should not assume that they cannot afford a
particular postsecondary instituition. Financial aid often makes it
possible for students to attend colleges they would have thought too
There are basically four categories of financial aid:
1. Grants - money awarded to a student that does not
have to be paid back
2. Loans - money that must be paid back with
3. College Work Study - money that the student earns
through a qualified on or off campus job.
4. Scholarships - money that is awarded based on
merit and does not have to be paid back.
For families beginning the college preparation process in grade
school a 529 plan is an easy, affordable and convenient way for
families to save for college. While the tax advantages are one of the
primary benefits, states also offer a variety of features and benefits
to help families reach their college savings goals.
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