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College Financial Aid Programs - Paying for School

College financial aid programs generally consist of one or a combination of loans, grants, and work study stipends.

Paying for School

For many people, how to pay for a college education is one of the first major financial decisions they'll make.

For the majority of American families, putting kids through college can be very stressful. College costs a lot of money, and families often just don't have enough money saved up to cover their children's college expenses. For this reason, most students are on some sort of financial aid program.  You just need to find the right financing option for your education.College financial aid programs generally consist of one or a combination of loans, grants, and work study stipends. Grants consist of money that does not have to be paid back by a student. Grants are generally given out by a college based on the merit of the student, and vary from college to college. Student loans are generally subsidized by the government to ensure relatively low interest rates. Work study stipends help a student pay for his or her education by doing work around campus.

A university's financial aid policies can definitely help some families more than others. Students from very poor families often fair better than student from middle income families. This seems fair, given the fact that poorer families seemingly have less money to send their kids to college. This unfortunately isn't always the case, because middle income families, while they look richer on paper, often have just as little disposable income as a poorer family, depending on their other financial obligations.

This discrepancy in financial aid awards often cause middle income families to send their kids to less expensive schools, while the poorer student has enough aid to enroll in the more prestigious and expensive school. While this scenario isn't all that common, it can happen. When it does, middle income families often feel like they've been dealt an unfair hand. Knowing your options is the best way to get financial aid.

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