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Financial Aid: Differences with public and private colleges

Millions of Americans find themselves going into debt every year as they struggle to pay for college, but there are financial aid options for many.

student loan debt sticker on cash representing financial aid options for students

There has been a major drop in the number of enrolled students due to the high costs of an education.

Many jobs still require a degree.

14.5 million students were enrolled in public college in 2019, and 5.14 million were enrolled in private colleges, according to AS.


Student loan repayment: Income driven plans

Financial Aid offered at both public and private colleges

A college education can reach as high as $75,000 in the U.S.

The average cost for one year could be as high as $35,331 for tuition, books and other expenses related to going to college.

One way to get financial aid at both public and private institutions is by filling out a FAFSA, or Free Applications for Federal Student Aid.

The biggest difference between public and private colleges is that students are likely to have more access to grants or scholarships at a private institution.

Private colleges get endowment funds and donations that can help provide greater funding for students to attend.

Private colleges also have the ability to change their fee structure and offer greater discounts to students.


Financial Aid available to students

There are five types of financial aid students can see

  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Loans
  • Federal Work Study
  • Fellowships and Assistantships

Student loan: Be sure to utilize the payment pause

Grants are normally given on a need basis, not so much based on merit.

Scholarships are usually given on a merit basis for things like extracurriculars, sports, or good grades.

Loans can be federal or private and are offered to students for tuition now, but need to be paid back later.

Federal work studies are for students to work and earn money toward their education.

Fellowships and assistantships are given to graduate or post graduate students so they can work toward their higher education.

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