By Michael D.
First, congratulations to the graduating class of 2018! If you are hoping to continue your education either in or out of state, then you're probably trying to figure out how to pay for school or get help covering some of the costs. All the information you need is below.
FINANCIAL AID SOURCES
Grants are a form of financial aid that may not need to be repaid. They’re usually need-based and are awarded from both the Federal and State Governments. However, you can also find grants at your college or from private or nonprofit organizations. To begin the process of securing a grant from the state or federal government, you need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.
Scholarships are another type of financial aid that don’t need repayment. Scholarships can be merit-based, which means you may need to meet certain criteria set by the scholarship-giver. Some may ask you to show that you’re a good student; others may reward scholarships based on athletic abilities or good deeds like volunteer work. You can find scholarships from all kinds of organizations. High school counselors are great resources for scholarship information.
Federal student loans are backed by the U.S. Department of Education, with limits on how much a student can borrow. To qualify for these loans, you must submit the FAFSA in time for the eligible school year. Some federal loans require students to show financial need to qualify, while others don’t. With federal student loans, you have flexibility when it comes time to repay them, including arrangements based on your income.
Work-study programs are offered at many schools. These programs may help you pay for school through community service work and work related to your course of study. Work-study also requires that your employer be considerate of your class schedule when assigning hours. Students who demonstrate financial need can qualify to work either on campus or off (at a participating organization). These programs are usually on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to contact your school’s financial aid office early to apply.
Private student loans can be a useful way to bridge the gap between other forms of financial aid and the total cost of attending college. However, it’s important to be selective when choosing a private student loan to ensure you find the best rate with features that meet your individual needs. Private student loans are a great way to supplement any gap you have after exploring federal loans and scholarships.
Lastly, congratulations to the more than 3,000 students who collected their diplomas, moved their cap tassels from one side to the other, and officially graduated from UNLV on Saturday! Stay tuned for our next blog about how to pay off your student debt.