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  • Nikkei

Ways to Pay for College When You Don’t Have Enough Money Saved

Figuring out how to pay for college can feel daunting, especially with the average annual cost being $35,720 per student. One great way to pay for college is by establishing a Savings account that can grow for years before the money is needed. However, there are college funding options for those who don't have money saved or other cash available.

Apply for Scholarships

College scholarships are free money that you don’t need to repay. There's no limit to the number of scholarships you can apply for, as long as you meet each scholarship's qualifications. There are scholarships for just about everyone, and they're not all for straight-A students and athletes. Using a scholarships search website like, can help you find scholarships that you didn’t know existed.

Apply for Federal, State and Private Grants

Like a scholarship, you don’t need to repay federal, state, and federal grants. The most significant difference between college grants and scholarships is that college grants are typically need-based.

Apply for a Federal or Private Loan

Student loans can help you pay for college. However, unlike a scholarship or grant, you will need to repay the money borrowed from a student loan. The Federal Direct Loan Program provides three types of federal student loans. These are:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans based on financial need

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans that aren't based on financial need or creditworthiness

  • Direct PLUS Loans, which are credit-based, unsubsidized federal loans for parents and graduate/professional students. Direct PLUS Loans for parents are also known as Parent PLUS Loans.

Private loans get issued by financial institutions, such as Nikkei and Mabuhay. Students or parents can apply for a loan to help with tuition, moving expenses, and school supplies.


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