College Costing By: Jazmiine H

How much is tuition?

Tuition is the price colleges charge for classes. Students also pay other fees related to enrolling in and attending a college. The cost of tuition and fees varies by college.

Can I get help paying for college?

Yes. Most college students receive financial aid. This is money that is given or lent to you to help pay for college costs. There are several forms of financial aid:

Grants and scholarships: money you do not have to repay

Loans: money you do have to repay

Work-study: a program that allows you to work part-time to earn money for college expenses

Students often use a combination of financial aid options to pay their college expenses. Read Financial Aid Can Help You Afford College to learn more.

Ways to help pay for college

1. Apply for a Scholarship

Scholarships are merit-based. They consider your grades, talent or service. You don't have to pay them back.

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2. Apply for a College Grant

Like scholarships, college grants are need-based and don't have to be repaid. What's the difference between a grant and scholarship? College grants for undergraduates are provided by non-profit organizations - the federal and state governments - and are tax-exempt.

3. College Work Study

Work study is another form of federal financial aid that allows undergraduates to earn money for college through a part-time on campus. Students get a bi-weekly paycheck working an average of 15 hours per week.

4. Federal Student Loans

The bad news: federal student loans have to be repaid. But you don't have to begin immediately after you graduate college and most student loans are low- or no-interest. The Perkins Loan and the subsidized Direct Loan, offered by the federal government, are the best student loans for undergraduates, followed by the unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan.

5. Private Student Loans

Private student loans are not federally funded and often have variable interest rates that aren't capped. Explore other college financial aid options first. If you decide to take this route, look into a ParentPLUS loan or an alternative loan in your own name. Remember to spend wisely. To determine how much you can afford borrow for college, visit www.finaid.org/calculators.

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