|Tuesday, August 1, 2017|
Heading to college soon? Congratulations! While there’s a lot to plan, there’s one thing you have to consider sooner than later: how can you make college affordable?
With the average cost of a four-year public school more than $21,000, and private colleges at double that amount, paying for college can seem overwhelming, if not impossible. However, a little research and planning ahead can ease your worries. Here are a few ways to reduce college costs.
The first step in finding out what kind of financial aid package you are eligible for is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Once processed, you and the college(s) of your choice will receive a Student Aid Report, which will be used to prepare a financial aid package that can include grants, scholarships, loans and work study programs.
There are many ways to save and pay for higher education. For example, a 529 College Savings Plan allows for parents, grandparents, or the student him or herself, to save for college expenses regardless of income. Savings grow tax-free and remain that way as long as they are used for qualified educational expenses. A Coverdell Education IRA offers similar possibilities, though only up to $2,000 can be set aside annually. Some parents also choose to use their home’s equity as a way to pay for a child’s college.
Options from Seven Seventeen
- If you have a Seven Seventeen Benefits Plus® Checking account, you have access to the Benefits Plus Student Grant Locator service, which provides a private financial aid service with thousands of scholarships in its database. Learn more about the value-added benefits of a Benefits Plus account at www.sscu.net/benefitsplus.
- Seven Seventeen also offers Student Choice, a private loan solution to help fill the gap that scholarships and federal loans can leave behind. Perks of the program include competitive interest rates, flexible repayment options, FREE financial aid counseling and more! To learn more about the Student Choice Loan Program, visit http://sscu.studentchoice.org/.
- Seven Seventeen has partnered with KOFE (Knowledge of Financial Education) to provide free financial education tools to help support members’ long-term financial health. Resources include publications, videos and more! Plus, you have free access to financial coaches, seven days a week! For a more in-depth look at how to make college more affordable for you, please visit: www.kofetime.com/SSCU and select financial publications from the KOFE table drop-down menu.