Paying for College

  • Senior Meetings [update with parent meeting info]:  We host senior meetings early in the fall, where we discuss planning, applying, and paying for college.  If you are a senior and have not met with your counselor yet, contact him or her!

    We highly recommend studying, and on this site draw heavily from, the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid site and CFNC.org's Pay section.  Also, the Triangle Community Foundation has published a couple webinars on Financial Aid Basics and Applying for Scholarships.

    Before we get to financial aid, there is also overall financial literacy, or understanding how to manage your money.  This is not only a vital part of paying for college, but also a real-world competency essential to sound and successful living.  CFNC has a wonderful section on financial literacy found here, including this flyer.  You can also explore any of these helpful sites:  MappingYourFuture.orgMyMoney.gov, and PracticalMoneySkills.com.

    Don't Get Scammed: Financial aid and scholarship information is free.  Don't ever pay for information or to complete financial aid forms.

    ***SENIORS:  SEE www.cfnc.org/fafsaday for more information on FAFSA Day.  This critically important financial aid form will now be available to complete on October 1st, and students and parents can create their required FSA IDs beforehand at fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm.***

    Undocumented students should see their school counselor to further discuss financial aid options.

     

    Personal and Family Earnings and Savings

    Your family's earnings and savings can be one component of how you pay for college.  You may want to read up on Coverdell Education Savings Accounts and NC 529 Plans - two great investment opportunities to help families save for college.

    There are also tax benefits to help save for college education.  Tax benefits include the aforementioned state 529 Plans, which are tax-sheltered and can qualify some individuals for tax deductions.

     

    Grants and Scholarships

    Undocumented students should see their school counselor to further discuss financial aid options.

    Grants and scholarships are money that you don't have to pay back.  Grants - along with loans, scholarships, and work-study opportunities - are awarded largely based on what is filed through your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

    Other than completing your FAFSA, scholarships should be researched a few different ways.  See our Scholarships page for more information about how to search for scholarships.

     

    Loans

    Education loans must be repaid, so be sure to thoroughly understand your options and responsibilities for borrowing money to pay for college.  Do your research, and only borrow what you need.  Education Loan eligibility is largely determined through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Alternative or private loans should be a last resort for borrowing. CFNC's and the Department of Education's websites provide the best information on educational loans.

    North Carolina sponsors Forgivable Education Loans for Service (FELS), which offer forgivable loans to students in eligible degree programs who pursue approved positions/careers.  This is a wonderful option for eligible and interested students.

     

    Part-time Work while in School

    On-campus work and off-campus work are also good ways to help pay for college; however, students must be careful and maintain a manageable balance of part-time work and academics.  In addition, some schools may be able to offer you a Federal Work-Study job as part of your financial aid award.  These official work-study opportunities are administered through participating schools' financial aid offices and are based on financial need determined through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

    Financial Aid via Military Service - You may be able to get money for college based on your or your family members' military service.

     

    Additional Financial Aid Resources: