Funding My College Education

With rising college tuition, more people are starting to ask how they will begin to fund their higher education costs. When I was looking at colleges, I was amazed at the costs I was seeing. I attended a public high school at no coast so the idea of paying $30,000 to go to a college for a year was an eye-opening experience. In moving forward with the college application process, my parents agreed to pay for the first year of schooling if I paid for the last three years. As a young student preparing for college, I was not fully aware of what that really meant and, with that, I unfortunately made some mistakes along the way. If I had to give my “freshmen self” a pep talk, I would share these general tips about student loans:

  1. Scholarships and Grants are your friend because you do not have to pay them back, and they will minimize the amount of loans one will need to take out.

  2. Several loans that can be taken out for school accrue interest from the moment they are taken out (That means each day I owe more and more money even while still in college).

  3. FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) can provide access to government loans that come in different forms including subsidized and unsubsidized.

    • Subsidized loans are my friend because the interest is paid by the government during your college years. Following graduation, students have a 6 month grace period before interest begins accruing.

    • Unsubsidized loans are a standard loan that accrues interest on top of the principal but often has a lower interest rate.

  4. Private student loans, such as ones through your home bank, should be considered after the consideration of subsidized and unsubsidized loans, because they typically have higher interest rates than the government loans.

  5. Interest can be paid while you are still in school. I currently make payments on my unsubsidized loans every month to prevent it from accruing even more interest.

Student loans are often considered to be normal because of the increasing cost of college, but that does not mean we should not try to minimize it as much as we can. Psalm 37:21 says this about debts, “The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.” This may seem like a harsh verse, but God holds us to a high standard; One that is counter-cultural and gives Him glory. If you are interested in learning more about student loans or would like to see how you might minimize your student loans, reach out to me at [email protected]