The affordability of college is something that’s on everyone’s mind, and prospective college students want to know how to qualify for financial aid to ensure that they get their degrees. But what exactly are the eligibility requirements, and how do you pay for college with ease? This guide will walk you through how you can qualify for a student loan and where to apply, and provide you with some additional financial guidance to ensure that you are covered throughout your college career.
What do you need to do to qualify for a student loan?
Whether you’re a high school senior applying to college or an adult taking their first steps toward a new career path, you’re going to be filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In order to qualify for student loans, you need to:
- Demonstrate a financial need for student loans
- Have a social security number (if you’re a U.S. citizen or be eligible for student loans as an eligible noncitizen)
- Have been accepted or enrolled in an eligible degree program (at least half-time for Direct Loan funds)
- Not be in default on student loans or owe any money as well as only use funds for your education
- Have your diploma, GED, or qualify for ability-to-benefit alternatives
Both understanding the prerequisites to secure student loans and filing for them can be confusing, which is why you might need some help along the way. One great resource is tuitionhero.org, which is a new website that provides you with all the advice and support that you need to navigate the student loan process. It’s a great resource to make sure that you get the most support and the most funding.
Should I only rely on student loans to pay for college?
Student loans can be an excellent place to start when figuring out how to pay for college, However, they’re not the only resource that you’re going to be relying on. Student loans need to be paid back, but there are other sources of funding that will be given to you without the expectation of having to return the money. Two excellent resources to look further into include grants and funding. Many high schools with high GPAs and other achievements may qualify for federal grants that they can put toward tuition. You can also look for scholarships, which is another source of free money for your college education, albeit one that may require a bit more work on your end. Put simply, student loans can help you get started, but you want to make sure that you’re doing the most to afford college seamlessly.
What can I do to pay off my student loans quickly and support myself through college?
A college education takes up a lot of your time and energy, but you still need to generate income in order to support yourself through college as well as work toward paying off your student loans once you finish. For most, this will come in the form of a part-time or full-time job. However, those looking to supplement their income and save more might also be interested in side hustles for college students. Whether that’s tutoring other students, walking dogs, or picking up gigs on various popular apps, there are a ton of opportunities out there to make money that you can put toward your living expenses and college tuition.
Understanding student loans and other student aid is critical to navigating your college career with ease. Learn more about how to qualify for student loans and what you can do to fund your educational endeavors in the guide above!