Fall can be a stressful time for high school seniors. Seeing tuition figures on glossy
college brochures can be even more stressful for parents. Fortunately, there are plenty
of ways to get help funding a college education.
The College Board stated the average total expenses including room and board for the 2006-2007 academic year was $12,800 for public schools, while private schools cost $30,370.
In a September 2000 report in Smart Money magazine, experts like Bruce Hammond, author of "Discounts and Deals at the Nation's
360 Best Colleges," weighed in on ways parents can save money for their
children's education. "It is a huge mistake to discount colleges based on
sticker price," Hammond told Smart Money. And he's right - from scholarships
to grants and loans, there are ways to bring the cost down.
The following sites can help you figure out how.
SmartMoney.com College Planning Guide
From tips on investing for college to information on financial aid,
SmartMoney.com's guide offers tons of helpful hints. Worksheets can
help parents project costs.
This public service organization's "Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid"
offers extensive information on loans, scholarships, scholarship scams,
military scholarship programs and money for graduate school. The site also
provides calculators that determine how much a college education will cost
over four years based on the tuition inflation rate.
Student Financial Aid
Like it or not, the government is still the largest source of student aid in
the country, providing college students with more than $40 billion a year in
grants, loans, and work-study assistance. This site from the U.S. Department
of Education offers tips to students preparing for college and advice for
graduates paying back loans. You can also order a free copy of
Funding Your Education, a U.S. Department of
Education Publication that provides an overview of federal student financial
Matches students with more than 500,000 scholarships, including many
specialized programs. A college directory provides information and links for
more than 4,000 colleges.
Colleges College Scholarships and Online Degrees
An online directory of contact information for college and university
admissions and financial aid offices. This page also features free
college scholarship and financial aid searches, SAT and ACT test preparation
tips, and information about online degrees.
College scholarship information is updated monthly. The site lists athletic, career-specific, major-specific and regional scholarships.
In addition to a free scholarship search, this site provides extensive
information on federal loans, grant programs and the FAFSA.
In addition to an extensive list of scholarship search sites, Scholarstuff.com
offers a list of recommended books about scholarships, loans and athletic
When it comes to paying for college, it isn't just tuition that's
expensive - student expenses can also be difficult to control. This
article includes tips for parents on helping their children control bills and the cost of books.
Educaid, one of the top ten education lenders, offers tips on how to save money for
college through custodial accounts, savings bonds, prepaid college tuition
programs, IRAs and tax reductions.