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Learn how to help pay for college through scholarships, grants and student loans. Get details about Pell Grants, Stafford Subsidized loans and scholarship programs. Take advantage of the Stimulus Bill Aid for Education. Compare traditional and online colleges and their degree programs. Learn about FAFSA too!
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Shopping for children can be tough. And if choosing among the dozens of options in the cereal aisle leaves you paralyzed, expect a far tougher time picking an investment savings plan for your child's college education.

An increasingly popular choice is the 529 college savings plan, which bears the section number of the federal tax code from which it was created. Every state now operates at least one 529 plan but they can differ from state to state. These 529 plans work much like a 401K or IRA by investing your contributions in mutual funds or similar much like a 401K or IRA by investing your contributions in mutual funds or similar investments.

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FAFSA is a federal form you must fill out to qualify for federal student financial assistance programs. Many states require it. It is also the starting point for most private student financial aid. Schools use the FAFSA as part of their application process. The FAFSA is a comprehensive form requiring extensive information.
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accredited degreePrivate and federal student loans feature low interest rates and flexible repayment options. In almost every case, there are no required student loan payments while you're in school at least half-time or during a six-month grace period, and no loan prepayment penalty. With a subsidized Federal Stafford Loan, the government pays the interest while the borrower is enrolled in school. For subsidized Stafford loans, you must have financial need as determined by your school and be enrolled or plan to enroll at least half time. The Federal Perkins Loan Program provides low-interest loans to help needy students finance a college education.

When federal financial aid, scholarships and grants aren't enough, private student loans are a great way to meet the total cost of education. A private student loan typically has slightly higher interest rates than a government loan. However, the interest rates on private student loans are almost always lower than conventional credit products such as personal loans, credit cards and even home equity loans. Signing up online for a student loan, also know as e-signing, is is straightforward and the fastest way to obtain education loan funds.

Student Loan Facts
• A private student loan cover up to 100% of the cost of education, including books, fees, rent, and other education-related expenses.
• Private loans for students are non-need based so all creditworthy borrowers are eligible.
• Loan repayment usually begins after graduation unless enrollment becomes less than half time.
• There are no application deadlines.

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distance learningScholarships are provided for a number of reasons including academic merit, the demonstration of financial need, members of underrepresented groups, leadership talents, artistic talent, athletic ability, and for particular fields of study, to name a few. Unlike student loans, scholarships and fellowships do not have to be repaid. Students who are awarded scholarships often need additional financial assistance such as a student loan.

There are many scholarships for average students, those without a 4.0 GPA, that focus on qualities besides academic merit. Watch out for scholarship scams. If they require that you pay a fee, it's probably a scam.

There are several free scholarship databases available online to find 1.5 million scholarships worth more than $3.4 billion and available to both U.S. and international students. They provide captions about each scholarship and links to a detailed page of information on the scholarship, including how to apply for this free money.

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online collegesGrants and an excellent way to pay for college. Grants, like scholarships, do not have to be repaid. They are often available through the federal government and state agencies. Grants include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), National SMART Grant, and TEACH Grant.

There are two types of college grants. They are: (1) Direct Grants - Students apply directly to the federal government, and (2) Pass-Through Grants - The state applies to the federal government and then the grant money is passed back to the state.

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