Financing Your Education
College costs are a concern for many people and paying for classes, books, housing, and other expenses can be a source of stress. Keep in mind that college is an investment in your future and research shows that the more education one has, the more he/she is likely to earn.
If you are a military service member or veteran, you can view additional resources on educational benefits for you and your family at MyMilitary GPS LifePlan.
There are many ways to help pay for your education. Here are a couple of Minnesota based web sites that contain information about financing college:
The most common source of help to finance your education is the Federal Student Aid program. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and more information about this application and process can be found at Federal Student Aid. This application is used to apply for federal and state grants, loans, and work-study.
Grants are considered need-based aid and do not have to be repaid. They usually come from the state or federal governments and are paid directly to the school. For more information about Federal Student Aid Grant Programs, visit: Understanding Grant and Loan Programs Fact Sheets
Loans are borrowed money that you are expected to repay. Federal student loans generally have lower interest rates than private loans and most do not have to be repaid until you leave school or drop below half-time status. Repaying loans is a serious responsibility so you should be sure to understand all the terms before taking out a loan. For more information about Federal Student Aid Loan Programs, visit: Understanding Grant and Loan Programs Fact Sheets
If you have more than one loan, you may want learn more about loan consolidation. It is important to know what the limits are to loan consolidation before you take on this debt. For more information about Federal Student Aid Direct Consolidation Loans, visit: Direct Consolidation Loan Information Center
You can use this site to make inquiries about your Title IV loans and/or grants. The site displays information on loan and/or grant amounts, outstanding balances, loan statuses, and disbursements. National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
Work-Study Programs are financial aid that you will need to work to earn. Your school will determine how many hours and what jobs you are eligible for.
Additional Financial Aid Information
For more information about FAFSA eligibility and other financial aid planning, visit: ISEEK FAFSA
FAFSA tips for everyone, including those who are incarcerated, ex-offenders or if you are from another countryCollege for Adults
For a tool that will help estimate how much aid you may qualify for, click College Financial Aid Estimator
A complete guide to Federal Student Aid can be found at Student Aid Publication