Figuring out how to pay for college can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. If tuition, room and board cannot be paid for with savings (which is becoming nearly impossible to do in this day and age), students or parents need to figure out how they are going to fund their education.
Take a look at the stats below regarding the cost of average cost of tuition:
And that doesn’t even include room and board and other related living expenses. Factoring these in, the annual cost of college can easily exceed $50,000 per year!
However, education is an investment in human knowledge that translates into future earning power. Workers with a certificate or degree experience a corresponding increase in income – to the tune of an additional $1,000,000 in earnings over a lifetime on average. So, clearly education is an investment that pays off. For this reason, we want to exhaust all options in paying for school. When people plan ahead – learning what financial aid options are available – they can plan their educational future properly.
Governments, businesses and organizations have worked together to ensure that the United States has an intelligent workforce by financially assisting students who want to go to college. These groups have awarded financial aid based on “merit” and “need.” In these cases, the money does not need to be repaid. However, most of the time the money is being lent as an investment by a lending institution, and they are expecting to be repaid (plus interest, of course!) – aka a loan.
The focus of this site is on the latter situation – student loans. Our goal is to help prospective (and former) students navigate the sometimes overwhelming task of understanding, obtaining and repaying student loans. You will find several useful articles that will help you make an informed decision about what is the appropriate type of loan for you, how and where to apply for a loan and the issues around carrying student loan debt.