College Funding

How can financial aid and scholarships help make college more affordable?  Several ways, depending upon the type of financial aid. Why did I include type of scholarship? Because the scholarship is money given based upon performance, either academic or athletic, and free money always makes something more affordable! Financial aid is a broad term and can encompass several different things, it will need more explanation.

One form of financial aid is a student loan. These are low or no interest loans given to students studying certain fields of whose families earn below a certain level of income. The loan is for a specified time and may often have no interest charged until you get out of college and have a job, then the interest rate is usually minimal. This has the advantage of giving you money to get the skills you need, the college education, and then allowing you to pay them over time as you can afford them. This definitely makes college more affordable than a regular loan!

Many universities and colleges also offer work/study plans as a form of financial aid. This can either involve part time jobs at the university, such as a resident dorm assistant that gets cheap housing to working in the cafeteria to even jobs in their field of study or “co-op programs”. These programs make college more affordable by either lowering your expenses, through cheaper housing or food, of by providing an income while you are in school.  In the case of co-op programs and departmental work, they provide the student with valuable experience and the opportunity for future jobs as well as helping with college expenses.

The other form of financial aid is grants. You are granted money, usually by the government to help pay for the cost of your college education. This is something such as a Pell Grant from the United States Government. It is basically free money or a discount the government gives to needy citizens in an effort to get everybody access to advanced education. Discounts given with no strings attached make anything more affordable!

As stated earlier, scholarships are like grants, but usually tied to performance.  As long as you perform, it can be good grades or special athletic skills, the college pays part of your tuition. It is not really free money as you do have to earn it, but it certainly makes college more affordable.

With the world’s economy today, more people need to be aware of the importance in how financial aid and scholarships work to make college more affordable.