How much does college cost?
Paying for college (2-year or 4-year) is an investment. College graduates typically earn around a million dollars more in income over their lifetimes than individuals with only a high school diploma. Further, college graduates have more stable employment, are less likely to be unemployed, and are more likely to find employment.
To determine the full cost of your college education you will want to gather as much information as possible about the colleges you would like to attend. You can find information about the various costs of attending a college on that college’s website or on the U.S. Department of Education’s website: http://www.collegecost.ed.gov/. If you have any questions be sure to contact the financial aid office at the college you are interested in attending.
Net Price- Net price is the real price that a student pays to go to a college (published price of the college minus the gift aid that the student receives). All Alabama colleges offer a tool on their websites called a net price calculator. This online tool gives you an estimate of the actual price you would pay to go to a certain college, based on information you enter about your finances. So think about net price, not published price.
Where will the money come from?
How will I get the money to continue my education?
With financial aid, many students who can’t afford the full cost of college are able to earn degrees. Most full–time college students receive some kind of financial aid.
What is financial aid?
Financial aid is money that the government and other organizations give you or lend you so that you can pay for college. Remember, the money won’t just fall in your lap; you have to apply to qualify.
Federal government (largest source)
What are the types of financial aid?
1. Grants. Grants are gift aid because you don’t have to pay them back. Grant money comes from federal and state governments and from colleges. Most grants are need–based: your family’s financial circumstances determine how much aid you receive. A Pell Grant is the federal government’s need–based aid program, and it is worth up to $5,845 during the 2016–17 school year. Some grants are merit–based: your academic record determines how much money you earn.
How to Apply for Financial Aid:
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for financial aid from the federal government, state governments and many colleges.
You can also apply for financial aid directly from the colleges you’re applying to and from private organizations. You will want to apply as soon as possible after January 1 of the year your student plans to attend college.
Learn more about the 4 main types of financial aid: