Are you a parent of a college bound student? Are you in sticker shock over the price of college today? Are you one of thousands of Middle to Upper Class families who can afford the tuition, yet are looking for smart ways to pay for college beyond your savings, equity or paycheck? Here’s a no-brainer. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) even though you have determined that your estimated family contribution (EFC) exceeds the price of tuition. All families qualify for loans from the federal government regardless of their ability to pay. Completing the FAFSA ensures your eligibility. For dependent students, unsubsidized Stafford loans are limited to $31,000. Interest rates are fixed at 6.8% and students can choose to repay the loan after graduation. For parents, the Plus loan is fixed at 7.9% with borrowing limits set at the total price of tuition. As with the Stafford loan, repayment can be deferred until after the student is no longer in school. The rates and repayment policies of these federal loan options are often more attractive than private loans. Go to www.finaid.org to learn more.

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