As you learned from this course, higher education is the most direct, and in some cases, the only path to achieve higher financial goals. Any education after high school will increase your career opportunities and therefore your potential income levels. Always remember the $1,000,000 difference between an individual with only a high school diploma and the individual with a bachelor’s degree. More importantly ask yourself the following question: what could you do with those 1,000,000 extra dollars? And, remember that income level increases for every year of education completed after high school!
It is important to shop around and compare price tags or the cost of attendance for each institution to which you are interested in applying. Sometimes the school of your dreams is not the best financial choice. As you do this analysis, use College In Colorado's SLOPE calculator to give a realistic picture of your potential income and debt after you graduate.
It is crucial to start saving as soon as possible. There are several methods that can help you. Review the savings plans closely. The federal government, solely with the purpose of supporting higher education, created the 529 plans to help families. These plans grow tax-free and you can use them at any time for qualified withdrawals.
Financial Aid is better understood once the difference between gift aid and self-help aid is understood. Grants and scholarships will always be considered gift aid, while work study and loans will be described as self-help aid. To have access to these funds you will have to apply using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In some private institutions you might have to apply using the additional CSS Profile.
Follow our tips on how to fill out the FAFSA and always remember that it is completely FREE at www.fafsa.ed.gov. As you near the crucial years before this process, follow our timelines as they will keep you on track and guide you on the right direction. And, don’t forget the tax benefits provided by the federal government to assist you and your family in other ways with the financial stress that a higher education might create.
The last step to complete the How to Pay for College Course is to test your knowledge with a quiz. Just click "Next" to begin your quiz.