Funding College Checklist

Are you planning for college or know someone who is? As college tuition (and don’t forget room and board!) continues to rise, it is more important than ever to make sure you’re looking into all aid options available to help your bottom line.
 
This checklist gives you a head start to help you cover costs.
 
Grants. Grants are a great place to start the college funding process. According to LendKey, in 2017, grants covered 58% of costs for the average undergraduate student. That’s a good chunk of change. These awards are government-funded financial support provided to students who need it with no repayment. Find out more about grants and the options available here.
 
Scholarships. Scholarships come in all shapes and sizes. This form of aid builds on your student’s strongest attributes; now is the time to brag. Academic, athletic, and artistic skills are great places to start when looking for scholarships. For the studious student, academic scholarships provide a financial payoff for all their hard work. Students who are active in athletics or the fine arts are also in luck; many colleges and universities offer scholarships to recruit the best talent. Check out the information here to get started.
 
Work-study. The Federal Work-Study Program provides funds for students with a financial need. The program is active at approximately 3,400 colleges and universities, and pays for a portion of the student’s tuition in exchange for work. Typically, these roles benefit the community and pertain to the student’s major, providing financial backing and excellent in-field experience. Check with the institution your student is interested in attending regarding the work-study opportunities available.
 
Employment & Internships. Another way to offset costs is on, or near-campus jobs and paid internships. Many colleges and universities offer a career services department to provide support for students seeking work opportunities. Like the work-study program, not only is your student making money, they may also be racking up career experience.
 
Personal Savings. If you’ve been saving for college over the years, now is the time to check your account balances. Saving bonds, 529 accounts, and any other investments you may have can chip away at any remaining costs.
 
Student Loans. After exhausting all other options, student loans provide a way to bridge the gap. The two common types of student loans are federal (subsidized and unsubsidized) and private. The Department of Education offers federal loans and private loans are offered through financial institutions like a credit union.
 
If you’re planning for future higher education expenses, we’ve got you covered; private student loans are now available through Black Hills Federal Credit Union. We are here to provide a trusted option to bridge any funding gaps you may have.

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