Paying for College in 5 Easy Steps
Your "gap" is the amount of money you'll need for college after you factor in your family's contributions and your financial aid award. It can be explained by this simple equation:
Total cost of attendance (tuition, room & board, travel, books, etc…) - Family's contributions - financial aid award = Tuition Gap
Below are some tips to help you fill your tuition gap. If you'll need money for school, view your student loan options
Max out your federal loans. Don't leave any federal money on the table. Borrow as much as possible in Stafford loans before turning to other loans.
Look into private student loans. Do your homework and compare different private loan offers to find the right loan for your needs. SimpleTuition can help you compare private loans.
Work. Add an extra week to your summer job and work during vacations. It's not always fun, but a few extra dollars can save you a lot vs. borrowing the same amount.
Squeeze a bit more out of your school. It doesn't hurt to ask. Call up the financial aid office and see what they can do for you. You might have more luck if you ask for a relatively modest additional amount.
Savings. Don’t necessarily sign away the farm, but consider tapping any resources in savings or other liquid investments. The cost of lost interest on an account, for example, is likely to be less than the cost of interest on a loan.