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Investigating College Financial Aid Options While Finishing Up Online High School

Written by James Madison High School on Thursday, 12 November 2015. Posted in College Bound

Investigating College Financial Aid Options While Finishing Up Online High School

Paying for college is a big investment. Students should begin to explore financial aid options while still enrolled in online high school to ensure they take advantage of all of the assistance available to them. Here are some common sources of financial aid to investigate further.

The FAFSA

Filling out the Financial Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) is one of the most important tasks for securing financial assistance for college. By completing the online form, you can find out how much federal aid you qualify to receive. Federal aid is comprised of several sources, including loans, grants, and work-study opportunities.

Federal Loans

  • Federal Perkins Loans: Fixed rate, low-interest loans based on financial need
  • Federal Direct Loans: Direct Subsidized (need-based) and Direct Unsubsidized Loans (not need-based) with fixed interest rates
  • Parent PLUS Loans: Low-interest loans available to eligible parents based on credit history

Grants

The Federal Pell Grant program is the most popular option but other grants include Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants. For more information about these grant opportunities, click here.

Work-study: Students are placed in jobs at their school to help pay for their school expenses. Job opportunities vary depending on the college or university and how many positions are available. It’s a good idea to secure a position during your last year of online high school.

State Aid

Currently, 38 individual states administer student loan programs, often with lower rates than private lenders. Unlike federal loans, these loans are usually unsubsidized. Students can get information about programs in their state HERE.

Institutional Aid

Another way to get assistance paying for college is with scholarships from the institution they attend.  There are need-based scholarships, loans, and merit scholarships offered by many schools. Students should contact the institution directly for more information.

Private Loans and Scholarships

Students can apply for private loans from small and large lenders with varying rates of interest. Comparing interest rates is essential, as rates affect how much money students will have to repay after graduation.

There are billions of dollars in assistance available to college students in the U.S. Although it takes time to explore financial aid opportunities, it is the best way to ensure you have the money you need to go to college. By starting your search while still attending online high school, you will maximize your chances of finding what you need.

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James Madison High School

James Madison High School

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