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Paying For College

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

Written by Kimberly Girola-Guzman

It can be an apprehensive time for us seniors waiting to hear back from colleges. While still trying to balance senior homework and activities, it can be easy to let opportunities like scholarships fly by.

In this college advice article, we will discuss the dreaded topic of paying for college. The information in this article should be used to help you get acquainted with the types of financial aid packages you'll expect to see and for you to start thinking and preparing for these expenses.

The image presented below is a sample financial aid package for a student at Stanford University. Let’s use this letter as a basis for how understanding college financial aid.

The cost of attendance is: $63,206

This student will be receiving $50,706 in grants and scholarships which covers roughly 80 percent of the cost of attendance. This student and their family are left with a total net cost of $12,500. The parents are expected to contribute 7,500 and the student is expected to contribute $5000.

In this hypothetical situation, the student could approach these finances in many different ways. One of which is work-study. The following table is taken from Khan Academy’s “Paying for College” series.

In the table above, the hypothetical student could take these approaches to paying for college. Keep in mind that this is just one way. Other methods include:

  • Appealing your financial aid award/Speaking with your parents about expenses

It is imperative to have discussions with your parents or legal guardians and assess your circumstances. This discussion could lead to you taking the decision of appealing or creating a budgeting system that works for you and your family.

  • Considering loans/scholarships

There are many different types of loans from private loans to federal loans. It is important to do your research and be cautious when taking out loans. Furthermore, there are millions of scholarships available to students and the niches are endless. Again research!!

To conclude, there are many avenues and resources that could help you pay for college. Whether that is taking out a loan or searching for scholarships, higher education is becoming attainable for everyone and anyone!

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