Last-Minute Tips for Paying for College

August 24, 2017

college, education, degree, tuition

With orientation underway at many schools, families with college-bound kids are suddenly feeling the enormous weight of those now-due tuition bills.

But it’s not too late to come up with a few last-minute strategies to ease the burden of the sky-high cost of college.

  1. Fill out a FAFSA

If they haven’t already, encourage your child to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid application immediately. Even late FAFSA applications can provide access to grants, scholarships or financial aid opportunities to help fund next semester, according to Liz Miller, president of Summit Place Financial Advisors. (Students who don’t file the FAFSA forgo an average $9,741.05 in aid, according to a study published this year in Research in Higher Education.)

Check with the school’s financial aid office, the College Board, or the Department of Labor’s “Scholarship Finder” to find scholarships with deadlines that have not yet passed.

  1. Take out a loan

While borrowing money seems like the go-to option to help pay for college, parents should weigh this option carefully, Miller said.

If it comes down to your child taking out a loan, or you co-signing for it, make sure you know the different types of loans and interest rates available so you can lessen the burden of student debt after graduation. (Federal aid, including Pell Grants and federal student loans, may have lower rates and better borrower protections than private loans.)

This interview with Liz Miller originally appeared on CNBC. Click here to read the full article.