Study your Options on Student Loans.

By: Thomas Hunter

When one is deciding to attend a college or university, there are several financial factors that play a part in the amount of money it will take to attend. These include tuition, fees, room and boarding, books and incidental costs. According to the College Board, the total cost of college for this past year was an average of $11,000 for a two year college and $14,000 for a four year college. Private universities cost an average of $30,000 per year. There is also an expected 5-8% increase because of the inflation rate. Scholarships and loans are often one of the important keys to ensure a successful education. If needed, there are several places to find loans in order to help one get the proper knowledge and degree for their future.

One of the more common ways to get a loan for college is through federal aid. These types of loans are available through the government, as opposed to private lenders. Most government federal aid is given after determining the needs of the student. There is over $67 billion dollars available in loans from this source alone.

Receiving a loan from the government often includes several different types of factors, depending on what the needs of that person is. By filling out different applications, you will then go through a process that will grant you a given amount of money for the upcoming year. In order to qualify for financial aid, you must have a high school diploma, be enrolled in college for a certain amount of hours, show that you are maintaining a certain GPA in classes and be an U.S citizen.

One type of loan offered from the government is the Federal Stafford Loan. This will allow a given amount to the student, which will then begin to be paid back six months after the student graduates from the college or university. A second loan is the subsidized loans. These loans are available depending on the financial need of the student. As long as the student is enrolled at least half time in the university and has financial need, they qualify for a subsidized loan. Another type is the unsubsidized loan. This is not dependent on financial need and requires that the parents pay a certain amount of the loan within a given amount of time.

Some different types of loans that one may receive are campus-based aid programs. These types of programs are either loans or grants, and are given by the university or college. Federal funds are given to the school, in which they can divide the amount of money in whichever way they choose. If you receive one of these types of loans, you will be eligible for work study, where you have a job on campus, a grant, or a Federal Perkins Loan. These types of loans are also dependent on a students needs as well as amount the school is given.

All government loans can be applied for online through the FAFSA website. Applications are always due at the beginning of March in order to be considered. This will then begin the process to see which types of government loans you are applicable for. As soon as there is determination of what you are eligible for, you will receive a letter in the mail stating what types of loans are available for you, and in what amount. You then have the option to accept or decline each of these options, giving you the set amount which you will have for the year.

There are also other types of loans which one can apply to which are not government based. These are private loans that are offered to students attending a university. Most of the time, these will include higher interest rates later on, but if there is not enough money coming from a federal loan that you have applied to, you can find another option to get through school. These types of loans will require some searching and will require you to fill out different application forms.

The loans that are offered through the government and private sectors are one way for you to get a college education without having to worry about the high costs or inflation through the schools.

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