There are several ways that students can afford to go to college, including:
Financial aid: Students can apply for financial aid, which can include grants, scholarships, and loans. These funds are typically awarded based on financial need, academic merit, or both. Financial aid is typically awarded based on the student’s financial need, which is determined by a formula that takes into account the student’s and their family’s financial resources and the cost of attendance at the college or university they are attending. To apply for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Work study: Students can participate in work-study programs, which allow them to work part-time on campus in exchange for a reduction in tuition costs. To be eligible for work-study, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrate financial need. If a student is awarded work-study, they will receive a set amount of money each academic year that they can earn through their on-campus or off-campus job. The amount of money a student earns through their work-study job is generally less than the amount of their work-study award, and the difference is used to reduce their tuition costs. Work-study jobs can be a good way for students to earn money to help pay for their education and gain valuable work experience. It’s important to note that work-study jobs are part-time and generally do not pay as much as full-time jobs, so students may need to find additional sources of income to cover their expenses.
Scholarships: Students can apply for scholarships, which are financial awards that do not have to be repaid. Scholarships can be based on merit, such as academic achievement or athletic ability, or they can be based on financial need. There are several ways that students can apply for scholarships.Search online: There are many websites that offer databases of scholarships that students can search through to find ones that they may be eligible for. Some websites charge a fee for access to their databases, but many are free. Check with your school: Many schools have lists of scholarships that are available to their students. Students should check with their school’s financial aid office to see what scholarships are available. Check with professional organizations: Many professional organizations offer scholarships to students who are studying a particular field. For example, the National Association of Women in Construction offers scholarships to female students who are studying construction management or a related field. Check with local organizations: Local organizations, such as community foundations, service clubs, and religious organizations, may offer scholarships to students who live in their area.Use scholarship search engines: There are several websites that allow students to enter their information and search for scholarships that they may be eligible for. These sites may charge a fee for access to their databases, but many are free.It’s important to note that scholarships are competitive, and students will often need to meet certain criteria to be eligible. Some scholarships are based on merit, such as academic achievement or athletic ability, while others are based on financial need. Students should carefully read the eligibility requirements for each scholarship they apply for and follow the application instructions carefully.
Grants: Students can apply for grants, which are financial awards that do not have to be repaid. Grants are typically based on financial need. There are several types of grants available to students, including: Federal Pell Grants: Federal Pell Grants are awarded by the federal government to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs): Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are awarded by the federal government to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. State grants: Many states offer grants to students who are residents of the state and attending a college or university in the state. College or university grants: Many colleges and universities offer grants to their students based on financial need.
Loans: Students can take out loans to help pay for college. There are federal student loans and private student loans available. Federal student loans tend to have more favorable terms and rates, but private student loans may be an option for students who do not qualify for federal loans or need additional funding.
It’s important to note that while financial aid and loans can help students afford college, they will eventually have to be repaid, so it’s important to consider the long-term financial implications of borrowing. It may be helpful to speak with a financial aid advisor at the college or university you’re interested in attending to discuss your options.
According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in the 2019-2020 school year, the United States spent a total of $1.1 trillion on elementary and secondary education and $79.6 billion on higher education. The majority of funding for elementary and secondary education comes from state and local governments, which together provided about 89% of the funding in the 2019-2020 school year. The federal government provided the remaining 11% of funding.
In higher education, the majority of funding comes from tuition and fees, which made up 63% of the funding in the 2019-2020 school year. The federal government provided about 20% of the funding, while state and local governments provided about 17% of the funding.