Paying for college options:
- Financial aid: scholarships, grants and loans
- Your earnings: more value if you help pay for your education
- College payment plans: tuition payments on a monthly plan
- Employer Educational Assistance Programs: Many employers offer scholarships or tuition reimbursement
- The military: tuition reimbursement, loan repayment, G.I. Bill
Financial Aid Information
As you progress through your senior year of high school, use a checklist to keep on top of college financial aid and:
- Attend the financial aid program at your high school, or the college fair in your area.
- Complete scholarship applications. Contact your guidance counselor for local awards.
- Complete the free application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) after January 1 (of your senior year) and submit before March 1.
- Look for an award letter from the colleges that have accepted you that details the assistance they are offering.
- If you do need to apply for an education loan, do so eight to 10 weeks before school starts.
Your first stop on your search for money to pay for college should be at the Michigan Student Financial Aid Web site http://www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid. You and your parents will find lots of very helpful information. There are also many opportunities at the federal level.
FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID RESOURCES
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form you complete (which is easier then you think) to apply for state, federal and college-specific financial aid. Pick up the FAFSA at your high school or college. You can also apply on-line at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC): If you need answers right away to questions about federal student aid, call the number listed below between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. (eastern time), Monday through Friday: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) toll-free number, or online at http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/students/publications/student_guide/2004_2005/english/general-infocenter.htm.
- Assist you in making corrections to your Student Aid Report (SAR).
- Tell you whether a school participates in the federal student aid programs and that school's student loan default rate.
- Explain federal student aid eligibility requirements and how to determine need.
Other Financial Aid Resources:
- Scholarships: based on achievements, academics and talent http://www.educationquest.org/
- Grants: Based on financial need and don’t have to be repaid http://www.students.gov/
- Federal Pell Grant http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/publications/student_guide/2004_2005/english/types.htm
- Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant http://www2.ed.gov/programs/fseog/index.html
- State and institutional grants from hospitals, employers, and community-based foundations. Michigan Nursing Scholarship Program http://www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid/0,1607,7-128-1724-54524--,00.html
- Absolutely Scholarships: search for free money for school http://www.absolutelyscholarships.com/
- College Board Online: a research site for locating scholarships and aid http://www.collegeboard.org/
- GoCollege: Perform a search to find best combination of academics and affordability. http://www.gocollege.com/
- Federal Work-Study: Work-Study jobs may be an option if you show financial need. http://www2.ed.gov/programs/fws/index.html
- A Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan: May be an option if you show financial need. The federal government pays the interest while you’re in school at least half time and during grace and deferment periods. https://www.wachovia.com/foundation/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=19a65ef43a0aa110VgnVCM1000004b0d1872RCRD&vgnextfmt=default
- PLUS Loans: PLUS loans for parents are not based on financial need but do require a creditworthy borrower. The amount the parent can borrow is the cost of the education at college, minus the financial aid the student is receiving. http://www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DirectLoan/parent.html
NAVAL RESERVE OFFICER TRAINING CORPS (NROTC)SCHOLARSHIP: Selected applicants for the NROTC Scholarship Program are awarded scholarships through a highly competitive national selection process, and receive full tuition, books, fees and other financial benefits at many of the country's leading colleges and universities. Upon graduation, midshipmen are commissioned as officers in the unrestricted line Naval Reserve or Marine Corps Reserve.
- HOPE SCHOLARSHIP TAX CREDIT (HSC): Provides tax credit up to $1,500 per year per student. You may claim the HSC for two years. Students must be in their first of second year of college and enrolled at least half time for one period of the tax year. http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=107670,00.html
- LIFETIME LEARNING TAX CREDIT: Provides a 20 percent tax credit for qualified college expenses (tuition/fees), and after 2002, a 20 percent tax credit on the first $10,000 paid. There's no limit on the number of years you may claim Lifetime Learning Credit. http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96273,00.html
- 529 COLLEGE SAVINGS PLANS: College savings plans, often called "529 plans" after the Internal Revenue Code provision that governs them, are an excellent way to address rising college costs. Michigan has two 529 plans: 1) The Michigan Education Trust (MET); and 2) The Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP). For more information on Michigan 529 plans http://www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid/0,1607,7-128-38193_38213---,00.html
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS: The Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program provides scholarships to full-time, financially needy students from disadvantaged backgrounds, enrolled in health professions and nursing programs. For more information, log onto http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/DSA/sds.htm