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Types of Aid: Dollars for College

Types of Aid: Dollars for College

Kay Peterson, Ph.D., FastWeb

Federal government loan programs include:

• Student Loans:

1. Stafford Loan: administered either by the Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP) (in which funds are provided directly by the federal government) or by the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) (in which funds are provided by private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and savings & loan associations).

2. Perkins Loan: for undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. This is a campus-based loan program, with the school acting as the lender using a limited pool of funds provided by the federal government.

3. Parent Loans: the federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) lets parents borrow money to cover any costs not already covered by the student’s financial aid package.

To learn more about federal loans, read the federal government’s Student Guide for federal aid at

• Private Loans:

Private loans supplement aid provided by the federal government. Since they are offered by private lenders, there are no federal forms to complete.

Alternate Financial Aid Programs

• National Service: Volunteering not only helps the disadvantaged, it can provide money for your college education. The Corporation for National Service offers a number of opportunities for funding in exchange for community service.

• Tuition Payment Plans: Many schools offer short-term installment plans that split your tuition into equal monthly payments. Many such plans are essentially interest free, but some have fees or finance charges. Learn more about these plans on

• Employer Support: Many companies recognize the value of investing in an employee’s educational development. Ask your employer about tuition reimbursement programs.

• Benefits for Military Service: The military offers a number of tuition assistance programs, including ROTC, Army/Navy/Marine Corps College Funds and U.S. Service Academies.

• Tax Credit: The HOPE Scholarship Credit and The Lifetime Learning Credit establish a tax credit for higher education.

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