Federal Financial Aid
Everyone knows that college costs have jumped over the past decade and, as a result,
millions of students every year search for federal financial aid. Thankfully, there
are lots of sources for federal financial aid to help pay those college bills.
Federal financial aid is generated through a number of different programs. First,
however, students should search for all scholarships and grants – not just federal
programs – as scholarships and grants represent free money for students. There are
a number of respected scholarship search sites online so be sure research all your
options before choosing federal or private student loans.
After your search for scholarships and grants, explore other federal financial aid
programs. There are, of course, a number of federal loan programs which represent
financial aid opportunities for students. The most widely-used federal financial
aid loan program is the Stafford loan which offers students fixed interest rates
and generous repayment provisions. Beyond the Stafford loan, federal financial aid
can come in the form of Perkins Loans, though Perkins Loans are need-based so not
all students will qualify.
There is also a PLUS Loan program which allows parents of undergraduate students
to borrow at a fixed interest rate. This particular federal financial aid program
is sometimes used as an alternative to private student loans. Private loans, which
are not guaranteed or subsidized by the federal government, are not federal financial
aid but are another source of funds for families in need of financing assistance.
If you need to use a private student loan to help cover the cost of college, consider
a Think Student Loan. A Think Student Loan allows students to borrow up to the full
cost of education up to a $250,000 lifetime aggregate maximum. Students can apply
online or over the phone in approximately 15 minutes and the check is sent directly
to you or your cosigner.1 Plus, you can defer payments
until after graduation and the loan offers an additional 6 month grace period after