Knowing how you’re going to pay for college is one of the most powerful ways you can set yourself up for success – in college and beyond.
FAFSA: Submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid to get access to federal grants, loans and work-study funds available for college
Scholarships: Visit Tuition Funding Sources for access to over 7 million scholarships worth over $41 billion.
Use the Net Price Calculator (NPC) at each college’s website to estimate your total college costs at that school based on your personal situation. Then, compare the costs, options, and opportunities at different schools.
Additional financial options:
- Tuition payment plans. These plans may be available by colleges to help you pay tuition in interest-free monthly installments instead of one lump sum at the start of the semester.
- Federal Direct PLUS Loans. These student loans, offered by the federal government, are available to graduate or professional degree students and parents of dependent undergraduate students who do not have an adverse credit history.
- Private or alternative student loans. These credit-based student loans may be available for undergraduates, graduates, professional degrees, or qualified certificate or licensure programs. There may also be financing options available for anyone (such as a parent or relative) who may be interested in borrowing to help you pay for college. These loans are provided by banks or other lenders.
Secure Your Internet Access on Public Wi-Fi
If you use public Wi-Fi, connect only to secure sites and avoid accessing financial information or mobile banking.
Protect Your Devices
Your devices are meant to make your life easier, but having them hacked could be trouble. Lock your phone’s access and set strong passwords.
Monitor Your Credit and Finances
Credit card numbers and other personal information can get stolen while traveling. Keep an eye on your bank and other financial accounts to help ensure fraudulent charges don’t get lost in your vacation expenses.
If you graduated high-school recently and want to start building credit in your own name and gain financial independence, applying for a credit card could be a starting point.
What building credit can do for you
Building a credit history can help give you more financial freedom and choices down the road – and possibly lower your interest rates on future purchases, like a car or a home loan.
Use your credit card wisely
Your credit history reflects your ability to use credit responsibly. It’s important to charge only what you can afford, stay within your credit limit, pay more than the minimum monthly payment, and always pay on time.
Your credit report and score can influence the type of home you can afford in different ways. It influences the interest rate of your mortgage, the total amount of money you are qualified to borrow, the lending terms of your mortgage agreement. It is recommended that you check your credit score and report at least three months prior to applying for a home loan. Buying a home is the biggest investment in most people’s lifetime. So, take the time to do your homework, ensure that your credit score is based on accurate credit report information, in order to find a home that fits your budget.