Paying for College

More On Financial Aid

When I looked at the title of this post: More On Financial Aid, I thought to myself, "Don't be a moron about getting money for college." :-) Don't get me wrong. I don't think you're capable of being a moron, but there's a lot to know about where and how to get money to pay for college.

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So, where can you find out about where to look and what to do? Well, I'll give you two excellent places to start right here:


The first is our old friend Consumerist.com. There's an excellent article there called A Big-A[$$] List Of Student Loan Resources (that's my PG-13 edit there). Here's the gist of that:

It's a tough economic climate to be graduating from school — and maybe an even tougher one for those of you trying to get financial aid. We've put together a list of some financial aid and student lending resources to help make things easier.

FinAid's calculators can help you figure out how much school will cost, how much you need to save and how much aid you'll need. FinAid also has basic information about different types of loans, scholarships and military aid.

Student Loan Borrower Assistance, a project of the National Consumer Law Center, provides resources for people who already have student loansfederal student loan rehabilitation (PDF), student loans and bankruptcy, and collections. They also provide information on where to go for help, including legal assistance. and want to know more about their options and rights. This website provides good information for people who are having trouble playing their student loans, and want more information about

The US Department of Education has information for those of your preparing for college, including help choosing a school, and applying for financial aid. For in depth information, check out Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid.

If you are having serious problems with your federal student loans, the FSA Ombudsman is there to help. In addition to personalized assistance, they offer tips for dealing with your loan servicer. To find out who is servicing your loan, use the National Student Loan Data System.

If you're considering applying for a private loan, check out these questions that you'll want to ask your lender, from the Project On Student Debt.

The Project on Student Debt also provides a guide for people already repaying their student loans that covers what borrowers need to know about the changes that take place each July. Expect a new guide each year.

The Federal Trade Commission provides a guide to deceptive student lending offers and how to avoid them. (PDF)

Bankrate has some basic information about financing you education, comparing 529 plans if you're saving for your child. including help

If you're interested in consolidating your loans, check out the US Department of Education: Loan Consolidation site.

For those of you shopping for student loans, MyFICO has information about how it will affect your credit score.

Now, if you're looking for a comprehensive resource on student financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education that includes grants, loans, and work-study, plus the three major forms of aid available through the Department's Federal Student Aid office, there's only one place to go:

Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid

I have been emphasizing financial aid topics here in my blog lately for a couple reasons. First, things are tough out there for families and the cost of higher education has risen beyond many families' ability to pay. Second, it's quickly coming into the season for admission results and along with those decisions will come the financial aid awards. Thus, it's crucial that you know what's going on with them and what your options are.

Finally, if you want to take the pulse of public sentiment about American colleges' motivations to serve up either quality education or a big fat profit center, check these two interesting threads on the College Confidential discussion forum.

Speaking of money, feel free to add your own two cents' worth there!

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Be sure to check out all my admissions-related articles and book reviews at College Confidential.